Monsieur Defarge In A Tale Of Two Cities

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Tale of Two Cities takes place in an uncertain period amid volatile events; subsequently the characters often show unsettled, even contradictory traits. Monsieur Defarge often expresses regret and apprehension towards his wife’s schemes; whilst Solomon Pross/John Barsad, having committed his fair share of misdeeds, becomes an essential tool in the protagonists’ arsenal. Both Monsieur Defarge and Barsad are relatively minor characters, but they contribute enormously to the plot and accurately reflect the complexity of the time period. Monsieur Defarge is a staunch patriot, and his decisions in accordance with that determine his fate. However, his loyalties to the French Republic, his wife, morality, and Dr. Manette conflict throughout the story, thereby adding interest and options to what would otherwise be a German shepard-esque character. Since Defarge changes and becomes darker throughout the narrative, it’s best to look at him chronologically. He begins as a peddler of wine and patriotism, decribed as “good-humoured-looking on the whole…evidently a man of strong resolution (Dickens 32). This, combined with Defarge’s respect and charity towards Dr. Manette, suggests that …show more content…
Barsad has no morals to speak of, but for a mountebank, he ends up being an essential and beneficial character. Barsad is motivated by self-preservation. One could argue that he furthers the rest of Dicken’s themes by displaying a lack of humanity. The book purviews the power of love, resurrection, familial devotion, etc., but Barsad’s character rejects all of these ideas. He refuses his sister’s unrequited love and by nature of his occupation, lives off deceit and a lack of loyalty. Perhaps he is Dicken’s image of the true villain, despite his assistance in Carton’s heroism. Perhaps this refusal of life’s saving concepts is what causes Sydney Carton to name Barsad first on the prophetic list of guillotine

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