Vengeance, Vendetta and Vanity: the Women of a Tale of Two Cities

875 Words Nov 30th, 2012 4 Pages
Vengeance, Vendetta and Vanity: The women of A Tale of Two Cities In this world, there are many things that men may possibly never understand. Time travel… gravity transcendence… and over everything, women, to name a few. In Dickens’ novel, we see just how complex (and simple) women can be. In this paper I will be defending J.F. Hamilton’s “Of Weaving and Knitting”. When reading A Tale of Two Cities, it is easily discernible that Lucie Manette and M. Defarge are opposites. Lucie is British. M. Defarge is French. Lucie has golden blonde hair. M. Defarge has black hair. One may even say that their relationship is complicated as the novel in which they appear. When thinking of the two, Robert Frost’s 1920 poem “The Road Not Taken” comes …show more content…
Lucie asks “as a wife and mother” that M. Defarge spare her husband. In “Of Weaving and Knitting”, J.F. Hamilton speaks about Lucie’s healing powers, and how she uses them on Manette, Carton, and Darnay. The author gives us three men that completely change the novel, changed by Lucie. She is the mother, a daughter, and a savior!
Adversely, if Lucie is “light”, M. Defarge is darkness. Shrouded by a full head of black hair, she is the personification of vengeance (not to be confused with her commander, The Vengeance.) M. Defarge will not be happy until the whole St. Evermonde race has been exterminated along with the rest of the aristocracy. In her relationship, she is the man. Madame Defarge shows her dominance when she first rallies the women as they storm the Bastille. Again, she shows it once she denounces Charles Darnay as an Evermonde. Her phallus personified through her knitting needle, she points it at Lucie and her daughter. Lucie, the picture of femininity is dominated by M. Defarge, the picture of masculinity. Madame Defarge tells her husband, “It is your weakness that you sometimes need to see your victim and your opportunity, to sustain you. Sustain yourself without that. When the time comes, let loose a tiger and a devil; but wait for the time with the tiger and the devil chained – not shown – yet always ready.” (Dickens 181).
She emasculates him. M. Defarge holds the power within the relationship. A

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