The role of minor characters in a tale of two cities by charles dickens

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The role of minor characters in a tale of two cities by charles dickens

The characters around whom the action revolves in both London and Paris are women: Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge. Additionally, Dickens uses women throughout the book to represent the moral climate of a group or family. Although Dickens may not develop his female characters as fully as he does some of the male characters in A Tale of Two Cities, nevertheless, the women provide the men in the novel with an emotional foundation that causes the men to act for or react against what the women represent.

Lucie and Madame Defarge, for instance, drive the action in their respective spheres of influence.

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As the "golden thread"that binds the lives of Doctor Alexandre ManetteMr. Lorry, Darnay, and Carton together, Lucie is a passive character who influences others through who she is rather than by what she does. The comfortable home she creates comforts the men in her life and her devout compassion for others inspires them.

Her goodness enables them to become more than they are and to find the strength to escape the prisons of their lives. On the other hand, Madame Defarge stands at the center of the revolutionary activity in Paris as an active agent of change, even when she is just sitting in the wine-shop and knitting her death register.

Her patient ruthlessness helps to support her husband when he has doubts about the Revolution. In the end, however, her desire for revenge becomes something Monsieur Defarge reacts against as he recognizes that the killing must end somewhere.

Dickens also portrays the other women in the novel as either nurturing life or destroying it. Mothers play an especially important role in this sense, as Dickens differentiates between natural and unnatural mothers.

Lucie is also a natural mother, nurturing her daughter and protecting her from harm. Similarly, Dickens portrays even the mothers of Saint Antoine who do nurture their children as unnatural in the fact that they can spend the day as part of a vicious mob killing and beheading people and then return home smeared with blood to play with their children.

The behaviors of both the aristocratic and the peasant women are destructive in that they either create an environment that lacks love and guidance or they guide the next generation into further anger and violence.D'Abbadie, Arnauld.

See: Abbadie, Arnauld d', ? Dabney, Robert Lewis, ¶. A Defence of Virginia And Through Her, of the South, in Recent and Pending Contests Against the Sectional Party (English) (as Author); Dabney, Thomas Ewing¶.

The role of minor characters in a tale of two cities by charles dickens

Reading Group Guide. 1. Imprisonment is a theme in many of Dickens’s novels, but is perhaps most fully realized in Little urbanagricultureinitiative.coms the attitudes of Mr.

Dorrit and Little Dorrit toward the Marshalsea.

The role of minor characters in a tale of two cities by charles dickens

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Although Dickens may not develop his female characters as fully as he does some of the male characters in A Tale of Two Cities, nevertheless, the women provide the men in the novel with an emotional foundation that causes the men to act for or react against what the women represent.

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