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Madame Defarge

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 405
  • Category: Symbolism

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Madame Defarge was a symbol of destruction: her archetype was destruction. Although she could have been an avenger, her methods and sympathy for others proves her to be a destroyer, as she destroys the innocent, her own humanity, and she does destroy herself.

She does what she can to destroy the ancestors of her own cause. As the Evrémonde family destroyed her mentally, she tries to annihilate them physically. Many have given her sympathy, including the wife of the cheating aristocrat, stating that she only wishes to make amends as her life ambition. Madame Defarge has no care for her. Madame Defarge seeks blood, seeks out Darnay, Lucie, and even little Lucie. Madame Defarge has no sympathy, no mercy, just like Creon in Antigone.

Madame Defarge de-humanize’s herself. Others describe her as an animal, she is thinking “It was nothing to her, that an innocent man was to die for the sins of his forefathers; she saw, not him, but them. It was nothing to her, that his wife was to be made a widow, and his daughter an orphan; that was insufficient punishment, because they were her natural enemies and her prey, and as such had no right to live,” (Darnay 359). This animal was no longer considered any bit of a human. She was the predator, the Evrémonde her prey.

Madame Defarge mentally and literally terminates herself. Pushing away the only loved one she ever had, saying that Monsieur Defarge cannot be trusted with her secret of pursuing Lucie and little Lucie. Where Monsieur Defarge had compassion, Madame Defarge had hate, not justice. As she hunts down her prey, she meets the loving Ms. Pross. These two were foils. Madame Defarge fueled by hate, Ms. Pross fueled by her love, for “lady bird”. These two battle it out, but good always wins right? Right. “Miss Pross looked up, saw what it was, struck at it, struck out a flash and a crash, and stood alone—blinded with smoke.” (Darnay 365). Although Madame Defarge did not pull the trigger, she was the only reason she died.

Madame Defarge, a true destroyer. She was like all of the great destroyers (or should I say terrible?). Like Creon, she had no sympathy for innocent. Like Hitler, she had no humane thought and was the cause of her own death. She sought blood, she found herself. She sought peace, she found nothing.

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