Justice in Tale of Two Cities

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Kate Partington
Mr Wood

Accelerated English 11

22 February 2013

Justice is a major theme seen in The Tale of Two Cities and it connects all characters in one way or another. One character in particular, Madame Defarge, links most others together in her crazy quest for justice. In Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge responds to an injustice in a negative way after the harming of her family and goes about the wrong way of trying to get revenge, which in turn contributes to the overall plot of the story as a whole.

Madame Defarge’s search for justice for her family is gone about in the wrong way. She believes that in order to get back at Darnay, she must inflict the same pain she felt upon him.“Madame Defarge is the symbol of the evils brought forth by the French Revolution,” (eNotes, 67). After the rape of her sister by Darnay’s uncle the Marquis, and the death of her brother, Defarge’s becomes obsessed with hate towards anyone related to the Marquis and then in turn to the whole aristocrat society. Defarge targets the aristocrats in a very stereotypical way, yet does not understand that what she is doing is wrong. “Madame Defarge plots the downfall of the St. Evremondes and other aristocrats with almost infinite patience, working the names of those whom she hates into her knitting. She plots Darnay's arrest in 1792 and the eventual deaths of his entire family, demonstrating the depths of her hatred,” (eNotes, 67). Her understanding of justice is completely backwards and that only continues to cause more trouble throughout the book.

Madame Defarge’s search for justice is successful in her eyes, because she achieves causing pain and suffering, but then goes too far when she begins to target random people. Madame Defarge becomes so obsessed with her idea of justice that no one can hold her back in doing whatever she wants to. Defarge is obviously wrong to go on and kill innocent people, yet in her eyes it is...
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