Prompt: Analyze how Madame Defarge and Lucie Manette are strong women in A Tale of Two Cities. Reflect on the archetypes that describe them.
Strong Women in a Tale of Two Cities
In "A Tale of Two Cities", Charles Dickens portrays two strong women (Lucie Manette, Madame Defarge) characters in his work. Although the common thread between these women is their strength, this trait is derived differently for each character. So are the archetypes for these women as well.
Lucie Manette’s strength is derived from compassion. She was portrayed by Charles Dickens as the epitomic, perfect woman, "a pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair," with "a pair of blue eyes." In addition, Lucie was delineated as polite, loyal, timid, and loving. For example, Lucie's love was the only thing that kept Dr. Manette from ...view middle of the document...
Stryver, Miss Pross, and, perhaps most of all, Sydney Carton. Lucie is seen as the nurturer archetype in the story. She has very compassionate and innocent actions. "No, Mr. Carton. I am sure that the best part of it might still be; I am sure that you might be much, much worthier of yourself" (Dickens, 145). She helps Sydney Carton in the story to believe in himself and try to make him a better person, because she can see the good in him.
Madame defarge is a strong woman, she is a great example of how there is prodigious strength in sorrow and despair. Madame Defarge’s pain was her strength. The loss of her family gave her the strength needed to seek out and kill all related to the Evrémondes. “I was brought up among fishermen of the seashore, and that peasant family so injured by the two Evrémonde brothers, as that Bastille paper describes, is my family (Dickens, 330).” Madame Defarge witnessed the Evrémonde brothers killing her family, and her lifelong goal became killing the Evrémondes. No one understood why she was so unrelenting in her mission, but no one knew how much she was hurting inside. Madame Defarge’s strength came from seeing her family getting killed. Madame Defarge’s archetype is very obvious. She possesses the evil figure archetype. Her role in the story consists of her keeping records of who she believes must die. She is pure evil and blood thirsty. “Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop,” returned madame; “but don’t tell me (Dickens, 330).” This quote demonstrates her absolute determination to have revenge. She is saying that they would have an easier time stopping nature itself than stopping her plans.
“A Tale of Two Cities” basically shows strong women, from different perspectives. There were certain obstacles good or bad, which pushed them to show their strengths. There archetypes differed from nurturer to a devil figure, two totally different characters. But they both had the same effect: STENGTH!