A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At the shop of the wood-sawyer, Madame Defarge holds a secret conference with Jacques Three and The Vengeance. Madame says that she no longer trusts Monsieur Defarge, and that they must exterminate the Evrémondes themselves. Jacques Three swears that his jury will condemn Lucie, and fantasizes about the blond hair and blue eyes of Lucie's beheaded child at the guillotine. The wood-sawyer and Madame Defarge promise to testify against Lucie.
Lucie kissed her hand to the prison as a gesture of loyalty and compassion. But the revolutionaries see it as an act of treason. The revolutionaries have given up all human feeling and mercy, as is shockingly apparent in Jacques Three's sick fantasy about murdering an innocent girl.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Madame Defarge strides through the streets like a tigress, a woman without pity, armed with a knife and loaded pistol. She heads to Lucie's apartment, hoping to strengthen her case by catching Lucie insulting the Revolution in her grief.
Madame Defarge combines the figures of Fate and Death. She is terrifying and inhuman. She represents death as opposed to resurrection, murder as opposed to sacrifice.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
At the apartment, Jerry Cruncher and Miss Pross get ready to leave in their own carriage. Jerry swears that he will give up grave robbing, and states that his opinions about praying have changed. He adds that he hopes Mrs. Cruncher is praying right then.
Jerry gives up his work as a "resurrection man" because that job belongs to Christ. With death (Madame Defarge) on the move, Jerry turns to religion to save him.
Themes
Resurrection Theme Icon
Jerry leaves to make arrangements. Soon after, Madame Defarge arrives at the apartment and demands that Miss Pross let her see Lucie. Miss Pross refuses to budge from Lucie's bedroom door. Madame Defarge tries to shove her aside, but Miss Pross grabs her. During the ensuing struggle, Madame Defarge grabs for her pistol. But as she grabs the weapon it accidentally goes off, killing her. Miss Pross flees the apartment in terror. She meets up with Jerry and discovers that she has permanently lost her hearing.
Lucie kissed Madame Defarge's hands and asked for mercy. That failed. Now, the faithful English servant Miss Pross wrestles with a faithless French former servant turned revolutionary. Madame Defarge's accidental suicide shows how the revolutionaries sow the seeds of their own destruction. In fact, as the Reign of Terror progressed, many French revolutionaries died under their own guillotines.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
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