In A Tale of Two Cities, what affect does Mme. Defarge have on Miss Pross when she visits Lucie's apartment, and how is this symbolically shown?A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, how does...

In A Tale of Two Cities, what affect does Mme. Defarge have on Miss Pross when she visits Lucie's apartment, and how is this symbolically shown?

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, how does Dickens symbolically show the affect of Mme. Defarge upon Miss Pross at her visit?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With the revolution in full force and all the names of victims recorded in her knitting, Madame Defarge has committed to her memory the names and faces of all Charles d'Evremonde's family (Darnay).  But, knowing that her husband yet has a love for Dr. Manette whose servant he was, she determines that she will single-handedly seek her revenge against the aristocracy which caused her family's oppression before Monsieur Defarge can intervene.  So, in Chapter 14 of Book the Third, Madame Defarge hurries to the apartment where she bursts in as she attempts to catch Lucie in her mourning for her husband who will soon be executed.

What Madame Defarge does not estimate, however, is the British determination of Miss Pross, who blocks her path, shutting as many doors as she can. With each woman hurling insults at the other in their incomprehensible foreign tongues, Miss Pross, declaring,

"No, you wicked woman; I am your match....I am a Briton...."

she wraps her arms around Madame Defarge's waist after the woman sees that Lucie has packed and departed; as they struggle, Miss Pross feels the gun under her arm, but Madame Defarge continues to struggle until the gun goes off and Madame Defarge drops to the floor, dead from her own weapon.  Scratched and beaten, Miss Pross recovers herself and donning a hat with a veil, hurries to the cathedral where she is to meet Jerry Cruncher.  However, she cannot hear a word Jerry says to her after he arrives.  The explosion of the gun has permanently deafened her.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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