Tale of Two Cities

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“When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself.” A person who has been victimized and suffers emotionally will eventually focus on seeking revenge rather than by being guided by their conscience. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens reveals that it is better to learn to cope with your vengeance rather to act upon it, for relinquishing the need for revenge will lead to peace of mind, while acting on it will only lead to self-destruction and wanting more. Doctor Manette does not let his struggle with vengeance control his life, while Madame Defarge is driven by the force. Instead of coping with her angst like Doctor Manette, Madame Defarge chooses to keep her feelings inside and acts out in violent ways. The need for retribution is inevitable when a person has been victimized. Dickens understands the impact of the tyranny and how it works when it comes to revenge. “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind”(385) When Doctor Manette finds out that it was Charles’ family who locked him up in prison for eighteen years, his initial spite is understandable. However, Manette learns to sacrifice his past malice in order to move on to the future. Madame Defarge can never get over the fact that she was scorned in her early years, and she decides to blame the whole class of the aristocracy for her oppressed childhood. Dickens clarifies her behavior when he laments, “It was nothing to her, that an innocent man was to die for the sins of his forefathers; she saw not him, but them. To appeal to her, was made hopeless by her having no sense of pity, even for herself.” (376) The behaviors of Doctor Manette and Madame Defarge are striking contrasts. Doctor Manette is ultimately at peace, while...
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