A Tale of Two Cities Essay

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A Tale of Two Cities Essay

Throughout history, the powers of love and hate have constantly been engaged in a battle for superiority. Time and time again, love has proven to be stronger than hate, and has been able to overcome all of the obstacles that have stood in the way from it reaching its goal. On certain occasions, though, hate has been a viable foe and defeated love when they have clashed. In the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens presents several different power struggles between love and hate.

One of the more famous power struggles takes place between Miss Pross and Madame Defarge, towards the end of the novel. When Madame Defarge, who because of her evil nature and devilish appearance is compared to "the wife of Lucifer", appears at the Manettes' residence to accuse the remaining members of the household of ridiculous crimes, she is confronted by Miss Pross. The result is a struggle between these two magnificent women, who are complete opposites of each other: "It was in vain for Madame Defarge to struggle and to strike; Miss Pross, with the vigorous tenacity of love, always so much stronger than hate, clasped her tight…" (p. 360). Miss Pross loves Lucie with all her heart and would never allow any harm to come to her. Madame Defarge, on the other hand, does not just hate Lucie, but she hates the Manettes and all Evremondes. One would think that such a strongly fueled hatred would permit Madame Defarge to overpower Miss Pross, but, as the reader finds out, Miss Pross' determination to keep her darling "Ladybird" safe, from any harm that might come to her or her family, allows her to overpower and kill her enemy. This time, the power of good overcomes the power of evil due to Miss Pross' true love and dedication for Lucie.

Another struggle between love and hate can be found within Monsieur Defarge. In this particular case, it is evil that eventually triumphs. Monsieur Defarge can be considered a true revolutionary, as his actions prove throughout the novel: "… and still Defarge of the wine - shop at his gun, grown doubly hot by the service of four fierce hours" (p. 215). Monsieur Defarge tirelessly works alongside his fellow revolutionaries to defeat the aristocracy that has treated his countrymen so harshly.
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