“We go on and on about our differences. But, you know, our differences are less important than our similarities. People have a lot in common with one another, whether they see that or not” -William Hall. Characters are an essential must have in a story, but not any type of characters, but characters that can be juxtaposed.
Character foils play a significant role in Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities. In A Tale of Two Cities, characters can have the same motif but different ways of thinking. Their similarities play a prominent role in showing differences between the characters.
It expresses differences of a character in one similar trait. A cause of these differences would be the revolution and especially those who are in the play with it. Madame Defarge and Miss Pross reveal their similarities that depict their differences, thus, their dedication and morality connections are what reveals their characteristics within them that exhibit the differences that contribute to the plot of the story. It delivers messages within the poor and rich of the society they live in. To begin, their traits are what keeps them different and devoted, but different in their mindsets.
Miss Pross is characterized as a character that is perceived as kind-hearted and trust worthy. Madame Defarge is clearly opposite of her. She is a person of hatred and willing to kill anyone. Their ideologies and beliefs are clearly opposite, but both characters are dedicated to their beliefs and their strengths. We see an example of this during the French Revolution to the King and Queen. Miss Pross is dedicated to serving the king and Lucie while Madame Defarge is illustrated as someone whose life goal is just to overthrow the king and the aristocracy. In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, it states “His Most Gracious Majesty King George the Third; Miss Pross curtseyed at the name; and as such, my maxim is, Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On him our hopes we fix, God save the King!” (385) This shows Miss Pross’s dedication to the King.
Her viewing of the king and the aristocracy is part of her beliefs that keep her as she is, but opposite to Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge is a woman who is against the king, as she is part of the aristocracy, which is part of the reason why she is part of the Revolution; to overthrow their rule. The contrast between these two help serve the plot which Charles Dickens seems to put into play by illustrating their different mindsets and why Madame Defarge is against the Darnay family. Because of the Marquis, who is part of the French Aristocracy which she is attempting to go against after series of events that affected her and her family’s life. This leads to future plot points within the novel because the Revolution is a significant part of the novel. It delivers messages within the poor and rich of society. In addition, their relation to the Darnay family plays a substantial part of their lives and to what they are dedicated to.
In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Miss Pross is dedicated to keeping the family safe and protected at any costs. Opposite to Miss Pross is Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge seems to have a bad relation relationship with the Evremonde family, and now she wants to get back at them, even if they weren’t involved. Madame Defarge is willing to eliminate the Evremonde Family, which includes Lucie and her daughter, little Lucie. Madame Defarge’s and Lucie’s similar trait is the determination within them. Good or Evil, still determined to show their way of thinking. As a result, it leads to different mindsets. Madame Defarge has a mindset to harm anyone, and in the example, it’ll be Lucie and her daughter.
There are specific moments where Madame Defarge casts a figurative shadow above Lucie and Little Lucie, thus revealing her depict figure against the family. A few chapters later, we see a moment where Miss Pross devotes her life in order to protect Lucie and the family from Madame Defarge. In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens writes, “I know that your intentions are evil… and you may depend upon it, I’ll hold my own against them..
.I am desperate. I don’t care an English Twopence for myself. I know that the longer I keep you here, the greater hope there is for my Ladybird.” (487-488), which illustrates Miss Pross’ life toward Lucie and her Family. It also illustrates how important it is for her to keep them safe from any harm, and that harm is Madame Defarge. Miss Pross is aware of Madame Defarge’s evil within her and her trying to get in the way of the family by harming them.
This contributes to the plot because it shows dedication and morality within them that reveal similarity of character traits that actually illustrate differences between them. It creates suspense of what to come in future events. Furthermore, Madame Defarge is the reason why Miss Pross has to protect the family from each other, but that also goes for Madame Defarge as well, but their reasons are completely different and their morals are too. Madame Defarge has had a rough life and had a family connection with the Marquis’s family. In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens writes “I care nothing for this Doctor, I. He may wear his head or lose it, for any interest I have in him; it is all one to me.
But, the Evrémonde people are to be exterminated, and the wife and child must follow the husband and father.” (476) She is dedicated to obtaining the best for her family, and her answer is killing and making those in connection with the family to pay for what been done to her family. Another quote that juxtaposes their similarity of Morality that show their differences is in the text, it states “Defarge, that sister of the mortally wounded boy upon the ground was my sister, that husband was my sister’s husband, that unborn child was their child, that brother was my brother… and that summons to answer for those things descends to me!” (Dickens 452) This shows Madame Defarge’s dedication to her task. It reveals aspects of her that calls upon her to make those repay. This provides plot points within the novel that emphasize their hatred and lead to a world where Miss Pross fears for the worst, caused by Madame Defarge. To Conclude, Morality and Dedication play a prominent role in showing their differences in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Madame Defarge and Miss Pross both reveal similarities in character traits and morals that juxtapose and also reveal their differences within those traits. As seen in texts of A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens attempts to provide the divide of two social classes.
Classes within the rich and the poor that affect everyday lives. One depicts on one others actions and morals that lead to their mindset, as seen through Madame Defarge and Miss Pross, on different sides of the aisle, which is why Charles Dickens sets up the illustration of Miss Pross’ and Madame Defarge’s dedication, even though it actually shows their differences between these two character foils.