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Revenge in a Tale of Two Cities

By bignerds Jun 28, 2008 615 Words
A Tale of Two Cities is a novel which takes place during the French Revolution. In this novel there are many characters who often have conflicts in their interactions. Sometimes these conflicts take place on a personal level and at other times they occur on a social level. There are many examples of revenge in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Madame Defarge takes revenge on Charles Darnay for the acts of his father and uncle. Madame Defarge¡¦s main reason for trying to have Darnay convicted is because she holds his family responsible for the death of her siblings. When talking to Jacques Three, Madame Defarge says, ¡§[M]y husband has not my reason for pursuing this family to annihilation¡¨, which proves that she does not think that they are an enemy of the republic. Instead, she has a personal reason for bringing Darnay to trial (351). Monsieur Defarge, who plays as large a role in the revolution as Madame Defarge, does not, for Lucy¡¦s sake, want to see Darnay harmed. When he says this to his wife, she replies, ¡§Her husband¡¦s destiny . . . will lead him to the end that is to end him¡¨ (186). Madame Defarge is so revengeful that she even pursues Darnay¡¦s wife and child. She personally delivers a note to Lucy so that she can see them and ¡§[t]he shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her party seem[s] then to fall, threatening and dark, on both the mother and the child¡¨ (265). Lucy and Little Lucy are forced to flee for their lives before they are denounced.

During the French Revolution, the commoners take revenge on the aristocrats. The commoners¡¦ revenge is apparent in the second half of the book. The Jacquerie is a major source of the revolutionary trouble. One of the first examples of this is when ¡§[t]he ch„^teau [is] left to itself to flame and burn¡¨ after being set on fire by the mender of roads, a second member of the Jacquerie, and two others (230). The commoners¡¦ revenge takes place throughout the book when aristocrats are imprisoned. ¡§They are . . . murdering the prisoners¡¨ of La Force after Darnay is incarcerated there (260). The members of the revolution behead large numbers of people daily. One of the Jacques says, ¡§[W]e have not half enough as it is. We ought to have six score a day¡¨, which shows how extreme they are in eliminating anyone they think wronged them (351).

Gaspard is revengeful towards the Marquis St. Ev„ormonde. The Marquis runs over Gaspard¡¦s child and then yells at the crowd which has gathered, ¡§It is extraordinary to me ¡K that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children¡¨ (116). When he gives a coin to Gaspard, Gaspard throws it at the carriage, enraged at the Marquis. ¡§I would ride over any of you very willingly and exterminate you from the earth. If I knew which rascal threw at the carriage, and if that brigand were sufficiently near it, he should be crushed under the wheels¡¨, came Ev„ormonde¡¦s response (117). The retribution for the Marquis¡¦ murder of Gaspard¡¦s son and his many other selfish acts comes when Gaspard stabs him. The knife is ¡§[d]riven home into the heart of the stone figure¡¨ (133). In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens there are many examples of revenge. Madame Defarge takes revenge on Charles Darnay because his father and uncle murdered her brother and sister. The commoners retaliate against the aristocrats in France. Gaspard is revengeful in his murder of the Marquis St. Evormonde because of the death of his son.

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