One of the women that Dickens portrays as strong but disliked is Madame Defarge. From the beginning of her appearance in the novel, she has been sitting quietly and knitting in the wine-shop; we later find out that it's a list of targets for the revolution. She possesses a remorseless bloodlust; Madame Defarge personifies the chaos of the French Revolution. Her apparent passivity disproves her relentless thirst for vengeance. With her stitches, she secretly knits a register of the names of the revolution's intended victims. As the revolution breaks into full force, Madame Defarge reveals her true viciousness. She adds Lucie and the whole Evremonde family to her register. There is no evidence to why she is so mean. The only explanation is that it results from the oppression and personal tragedy that she has suffered at the hands of the aristocracy.
Lucie is a weak woman. She lets Miss Pross, another woman in the novel, pamper her in everything. Miss Pross doesn't play an important role in the novel. She only foils, or makes Madame Defarge look better.
Lucie is loved my all because she is such a passive character. Lucie was raised by Miss Pross in a section of Tellson's Bank because her parents were assumed dead. Dickens depicts Lucie as an archetype of compassion. Her love has the power to bind her family together--she is often referred to as "the golden thread." In addition, her love has the power to transform those around her. It enables her father to be "recalled to life," and it generates Sydney Carton's transformation from a "jackal" into a hero.
Dicken' portrayals of these two women indicate that during the period in which he wrote, strong and powerful women were reviled and weak, passive women were praised. This stereotype has not, of course entirely disappeared