Examples Of Foils In A Tale Of Two Cities

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Charles Dickens’ characters in A Tale of Two Cities highlight themes in the book, and symbolize groups of people in the French Revolution, human characteristics, and emotions, sometimes through foils. Themes are the main ideas or underlying meanings in literary works; symbolism is when the author uses objects, people, or actions to represent something that is different from its literal definition. A character that displays the qualities that contrast with another character for the purpose of highlighting the other character’s traits is called a foil. A Tale of Two Cities main characters Lucie, Doctor Manette, Miss Pross and Madame Defarge, and Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton all show themes and symbols. Lucie, originally Manette and later…show more content…
On the subject of the French she says, “I am a subject of His Most Gracious Majesty King George the Third and as such, my maxim is, Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks…God save the King.” (338) Since she is such, she is the perfect foil for Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge epitomizes chaos and violence. With her unrelenting bloodthirstiness and unceasing desire for revenge she symbolizes the intensity and bloodiness of the French Revolution. “The Evrémonde people are to be exterminated, and the wife and child must follow the husband and father.” (418) Madame’s chilling certainty and willingness to kill an innocent mother and child show the hatred that makes up the revolution she personifies and the peasants that were a part of it. Although Madame Defarge and Miss Pross are foils they share a common ground. They both have an uncompromising sense of duty; Miss Pross to Lucie’s safety and happiness, and Madame to a new and better France. They are both willing to do anything for these causes, including lying down their lives. As Miss Pross says, “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.” (427) Dickens uses these similarities he suggests that even seemingly opposites can have underlying

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