Who are all the characters that Madame Defarge puts into her knitting? I have most of them but I get the feeling I'm missing a couple and I wanted to be sure I knew every character that was in the...

Who are all the characters that Madame Defarge puts into her knitting? I have most of them but I get the feeling I'm missing a couple and I wanted to be sure I knew every character that was in the knitting.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the great villains of literature, Madame Defarge is introduced to the reader in the rhetorical Chapter V of Book the First. She does a certain amount of shifting in her seat and coughing because she has seen Lucie Manette and Mr. Lorry who have come to see the man for whom her husband worked long ago: Dr. Manette, former prisoner of the Bastille. Certainly, there is something very sinister and clandestine about Mme. Defarge. She knits a pattern that forms a record of all the people whom the revolution will destroy. 

Here is a list of the people from Dickens's narrative whose names are among those knit into her materials:

  • The Evremonde family (5):

This includes the Marquises Evremonde, the twin brothers (one of whom has died already) who killed her brother and destroyed her family by violating her sister and causing the death of her grieving father, and the descendents of the Marquis who died, Charles Darnay,  Evremond, as well as his wife Lucie Manette and their child.

  • John Basard (1):

In Book the Second, Chapter XVI, this spy comes into the wine shop, hoping to obtain information, but Mme. and M. Defarge both detect that he is spying. She not only knits his name, but adds information.

The spy, well used to his business, did not change his unconscious attitude, but drained his little glass of cognac, took a sip of fresh water, and asked for another glass of cognac. Madame Defarge poured it out for him, took to her knitting again, and hummed a little song over it.

Sources:

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