A Tale of Two Cities Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Why does Charles Dickens contrast Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge so strongly in A Tale of Two Cities?

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Charles Dickens makes use of the character of Lucie Manette as a foil to Madame Defarge in order to illuminate the frightening evil of the novel's antagonist, and to further the theme of Good vs. Evil.

The use of foils is a literary technique that can further the development both of theme and of character. In A Tale of Two Cities,Dickens designs his narrative with duality and foils; even the opening sentence starts with a classic parallelism that is a foil to his theme: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Certainly, the duality of Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge also illustrates the theme of Good vs. Evil.

Lucie Manette - The quintessential Victorian heroine, Lucie swoons in men's arms, is often overcome with emotion, and is a delicate creature who needs protection. She is compassionate and loving, embracing her father, recently released from the Bastille, whom she does not know since he has been imprisoned most of her life. She bestows her kindness gratuitously upon...

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