Role of Women in A Tale of Two Cities
Women roles in Charles Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities are foundations to establish the superiority and manipulative power of women. Dickens showed how women can help men escape from their own shackles if life and how they made men act according to their will. Incorporation of women characters in the novel also became a way to insert a typical family setting, with a mother being the emotional support to her family
Lucie inspired and brought out the best in Doctor Manette, Darnay, and Carton by treating them compassionately and loving them unconditionally, even in their darkest days—Doctor Manette as a prisoner, Darnay as a subversive, and Carton as a drunkard. Lucie’s loyalty is tested even in times of difficulties. The goodness in her heart remained even in her uncertainty to her fate and her husband’s death. She is depicted by Dickens as an ideal, moral and spiritual young lady who served as a nurturer and a catalyst for change in the characters of Doctor Manette, Darnay, and Carton.
On the other hand, Madame Defarge is the exact opposite of Lucie—full of hatred and vengeance against the Evremondes. She outwits her husband most of the time in his suggestions to bypass Lucie’s family in the revenge since he became a servant of Doctor Manette. The wine shop became a meeting place for the people involved in the revolution which is headed by Madame Defarge. She gave orders to the people who cooperated in the revolt, issued armaments and armed her troops to her vision of a triumphant revenge.
Her wines in the shop are like bottles of collected blood and tears shed from the drastic measures she used to avenge herself. Another role of women’s superiority is depicted by Miss Pross using the power of love in becoming the protector of Lucie and her family against Madame Defarge. She used love to develop close ties with Lucie (since her father is imprisoned) and to nurture a mother-and-daughter type of relationship. Miss Pross became the emotional support of Lucie and her family against the hate of Madame Defarge to the Evremondes. She is the epitome of “Love conquers all. ”