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.
These power struggles include Miss Pross’ love for Lucie; Monsieur Defarge’s loyalty for this wo countrymen and his friend; and Sydney Carton’s love for the Manette family. 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.
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The result is a struggle between these two magnificent women, who are complete opposites of each ther: “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, rom 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 so throughout the novel: ” and still Defarge of the wine-shop at his gun, grown doubly hot by the service of four fierce hours” (p. 15). Monsieur Defarge tirelessly works alongside his fellow revolutionaries to defeat the aristocracy that has treated his countrymen so harshly. His commitment to the French Revolution gives him grounds to support the death of Charles Darnay, but, unlike his wife, Monsieur Defarge shows love for his friend, Doctor Manette, and his friend’s family.
He does not want to see any of them, except for Charles Darnay, harmed or executed. Even before the French Revolution begins, Monsieur Defarge wishes that it will not involve Doctor Manette and his family: and f it does come while we live to see it triumph – I hope, Destiny will keep them [Darnay and the Manettes] out of France” (p. 186). The struggle between love and hate that exists here is Monsieur Defarge trying to find a way to stay loyal to both his countrymen and his friend.
Defarge chooses to try and persuade his wife to Just let the Manettes go, since they have not actually committed any crimes. When Monsieur Defarge’s attempts at trying to change his wife’s mind fail, he simply gives up and does not even try to save the Manettes in any other way. Senior Defarge is influenced so much by his surroundings that he starts to belief that there is no way he can help his friend. Because of this, Monsieur Defarge ends his dilemma the easy way- by not doing anything. Lastly, the power struggle between love and hate is seen through Sydney Carton’s love for the Manette family.
Carton will do anything to ensure Lucie does not get split apart from her father: “‘O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at our feet, think now and then that there is a man what would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you! ,” (148). Sydney Carton is foreshadowing his sacrificial event in order to keep Lucie happy. He will do anything for Lucie, even if it means not being with her. At this point in the novel, the reader realizes something climactic is going to happen soon.
Carton’s sacrifice happens later in the novel when he visits his lookalike, Charles Darnay, in prison. He drugs Charles Darnay so that Darnay will ooperate with Carton’s plan to switch places with Darnay. “Quickly, but with hands as true to the purpose as his heart was, Carton dressed himself in the clothes the prisoner [Charles Darnay] had laid aside, combed back his hair, and tied it with the ribbon the prisoner had worn,” (341). Sydney realizes that his love for Lucie is so strong, that even if he cannot be with her, he has to do anything and everything to ensure her happiness.
This is not the first time that Sydney Carton has reunited the Manette Family. Since he was Charles Darnays lawyer in Darnays first trial for treason, Carton was able to acquit Darnay, returning him back to his family. Following the switch, Carton is the one who dies in place of Darnay, revealing the ultimate sacrifice for love. “… like one great heave of water, all flashes away. Twenty- three,” (363). Thus, Sydney Carton’s love for the Manette family overcomes evil when he sacrifices himself for the ones he love. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, it is evident that love and hate will always have a battle between the two.
This is shown through Miss Pross’ love for Lucy, and how she killed Madame Defarge to overcome her hate/evil. It is also shown through Monsieur Defarge’s loyalty between his two countrymen and his friend. In this dilemma, he had to choose between the two; which so happened to be hate. Lastly, it is also shown through Sydney Carton’s love for the Mannette family. He fought the evil that was yet to come to Charles Darnay, and sacrificed himself. In all of these three cases, the predominant theme of love and hate will always have a battle between the two.