48 thoughts on “Madame Defarge

  1. I’m not quite sure what to make of Madame Defarge. I either really like her, or think she’s bad. She is very smart and mysterious. She is also brave, because she helps her husband prepare for a rebellion, and she faces it without fear, as is seen in the chapter: ‘Still Knitting’. But she seems to put names on her registry without judging them first, like Darnay, who is in fact a very kind and good man. So I don’t really know what to think of her yet.

    • I am the same way with Madame Defarge. I know that she plays a major role in the revolution as she knits the registry of names, but I can not really decide what her personality is like. She is incredibly courageous and fierce, and she carries herself very well, especially during the conversation with John Barsad. However, her character seems to be associated with secrecy and shadows, so it is hard to depict who she really is.

  2. I think Madam Defarge is a very creepy person. She may seem innocent, but she is literally “weaving death”. She seems like the type of person that like in a horror movie would appear randomly and just be motionlessly just be knitting while the people run away and scream.

    • That’s an interesting point of view but I find Madame Defarge to be more supportive and smart rather than creepy. She is the only one who can read the registry and when John Barsad came into the wine shop she handled herself very well even though Monsieur was visibly troubled. Another section that made me like Madame was in chapter 18 when she encouraged her husband to be positive. I think Madame will be a key player in the revolution by supporting her husband.

      • I agree with parts of both of yours. I find Madame Defarge creepy and she makes me feel uneasy. However she comes across to me as a very powerful and independent woman. Its odd that she makes a registry for who she will kill; at the same time it is interesting to see how this woman can stand up for herself, in some cases then her husband does

      • I totally agree with you Naomi! Many people only see her as a completely dark character, but with what you are saying, i can see how she is also a light character. She wants to bring revenge to the people who deserve it and is very supportive of all her husband’s decisions.

      • I feel like Madame Defarge is so dark though. She doesn’t feel any sorrow for anything she does. I feel like she has no heart at all. I also believe that Madame is more of a leader of the revolutionaries than Mr. Defarge is. She seems to be the one keeping everything in order and saying who dies or not.

    • I agree Madame Defarge is not normal. Who knits a hit list? She is a creepy individual who seldom talks. She coughs to inform her husband of strangers and she uses a rose to tell the revolutionaries to stay away from the building. I envision her as a wicked witch plotting the death of others.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. Madame Defarge is a prime example of how there is good and evil on both sides of the revolution. Every time we meet Madame Defarge she seems to take charge of the situation, for better or for worse. In the later chapters she seems to have lost, if she ever had, her morality and is very unforgiving towards others. The way she is connected to the Fates supp

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. Madame Defarge is a prime example of how there is good and evil on both sides of the revolution. Every time we meet Madame Defarge she seems to take charge of the situation, for better or for worse. In the later chapters she seems to have lost, if she ever had, her morality and is very unforgiving towards others. The way she is connected to the Fates supports her odd way of acting and her unlikable personality.

    • Madame Defarge is definitely a shady character. It is very hard to see any good in her due to her aspirations. I feel that the reason she is so crazy is because she is involved with the killing of so many people. That path is bound to make someone crazy.

  3. I am intimidated by Madame Defarge. Her mysterious personality was frightening and odd. The whole concept of her constantly knitting was confusing and left me asking why. After finally learning why she was always knitting I was very disturbed. The thought of a lady knitting a death hit list is not pleasing at all. If I was a character in the book and knew what she was doing I would stay as far away from her as possible. Even if I did not know the mystery of her knitting I would still be afraid of her. For example, when a man in town asked her what she was knitting she replied by saying shrouds. This reply by Madame Defarge is disturbing and would leave anyone disturbed by her just like I am.

    • I totally agree Erin. Madame Defarfge, in my mind, is the creepiest character in the story so far. She knits the names of people into a “shroud” as if it is a hit list. Which it kind of is… The suspicions about her being very violent and creepy are met in chapter 21. I won’t say what happens, but if you read it you already know. Overall she is my favorite character because of her insanity. She knits all the time and in the beginning it would say, “and saw nothing.” We now know that she actually sees everything.

    • I agree that Madam Defarge is very intimidating, especially in these first few chapters of Book III. I feel horrible for Lucie and her daughter because they are more terrified of Madam Defarge, than probably Death itself. I think Madam Defarge has really become a heartless individual especially when Lucie was asking for compassion from Madam and the Vengeance, and they say that they’ve seen the situation of the father in prison and the wife and child having to fight for themselves their whole lives, so why would they be the exception for them to help them?

  4. I find Madame Defarge to be quite creepy and suspicious. I think it’s extremely bizarre that she knits what she does. However i think this is also a clever way of going about her business. If I were a character in this story I would definitely not trust Madame Defarge. She seems too unpredictable and odd to trust and rely on. I am interested to see what other information we find out about Madame later on in the book because I think there is a lot more about her that we don’t yet know about.

    • I agree with everything you said, Madame Defarge is creepy but she’s incredibly clever. She doesn’t seem trustworthy now that we know that they’re after Charles Darnay who we have associated as a light character that we trust.

    • Madame Defarge is definitely a creepy, mysterious character like you said. She also seems very intelligent and knows what she is doing, like you mentioned. I can’t even understand how her husband can stand being around her without being freaked out. There is no way I would trust her with all of the power she has. You can almost infer that something bad will happen every time she is around or mentioned in the book. I definitely wouldn’t want to get on her bad side!

  5. I have found Madame Defarge to be a very interesting character in this novel. In the beginning of the book, I thought she was just a quiet wine-shop keeper’s wife who liked to knit. Then, later on in the story you finally realize that she isn’t just knitting for enjoyment. You discover she is creating a hit list for people to eliminate during the Revolution. This shows just how sneaky Madame Defarge acts before the Revolution. Madame Defarge wants revenge so badly, but she is able to keep it inside until the day comes that the peasants of France will rebel. I wonder how far Madame Defarge will go to get her revenge? Could revenge lead Madame Defarge to her demise?

    • I agree with that. Her mysteriousness creates an interesting personality. Her knitting is a good way of keeping it a secret and it’s going to be interesting to see how far she goes. I think that it may take here past a point of no return and I have the same question about it. Will it lead to her downfall?

  6. Madame Defarge is my favorite female character in A Tale of Two Cities so far. I greatly enjoy her dry and cold responses the people that she doesn’t want to talk to. For example, in chapter II.15 she tells a man in the crowd that she is knitting shrouds as if she thinks no one would have a problem with that. Her dedication to the cause of the revolution is impressive. She has been knitting a registry of people tied to the aristocracy for five years under the noses of everyone in Saint Antoine. I predict that she will play a large in part in the different stages of the revolution due to her dedication for the cause.

    • I agree with you. I loved her comment to the man in the crowd! In my opinion, that was the funniest moment of the book so far! I also agree that her dedication is impressive, but I think that it’s also a danger to her. If anyone found out what she was doing, it could leave her in a lot of trouble. Also, I feel that her overly-obsessive attitude towards revenge could cause her to end up going a bit too far at some point, leaving her in trouble. So far, however, she definitely has been a wonderful character!

  7. I find Madame Defarge to be an enticing and focused character. She is never seen doing anything but knitting or speaking to and supporting her husband about the impending revolution. On the surface, she seems to be perceived as a suspicious and monotonous character with her constant knitting and rigid facial expressions, but it is clear that throughout the novel, her thirst for vengeance and the revolution is boiling inside her and she will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. This is shown in chapter 16, ‘Still Knitting,’ when she and her husband are speaking about the upcoming conflict, and her actions and language become increasingly hostile. She ties a very terrible knot, she slams the bag of money on the counter, and her viciousness is shown when she says, “When the time comes, let loose a tiger and the devil.” As a whole, I believe Madame Defarge embodies the chaos of the French Revolution.

  8. I find Madame Defarge some what creepy, but I think she is in the plot for the better. The “Jacques” are trying to create a democracy so the people have people that don’t just care about themselves like the monarchy does. The creepy part about her is how she “knits” her hit list, its smart so no one knows but its just creepy.

  9. I personally find Madame Defarge slightly creepy. I feel like she is brave for wanting to help the revolution and fight for their cause, but she seems kind of bloodthirsty which makes her character more intimitating. She is just waiting for the revolution to begin, and her eagerness to fight is shown when she talks to her husband about the revolution. She is a very dedicated wife and supporter of the cause considering she spends five years knitting a registry in front of everyone, and didn’t seem to be concerned that she could be caught and thrown in jail or executed for what she is doing.

  10. Madame Defarge scares me, especially in chapter 21; but my fear of her has grown from the previous chapters about the Jaques. She sits in the corner and knits and doesn’t say a word. Adding names to her ‘hit list’ gives me an uneasy feeling, and as the book goes on theres more and more chapters in which she is violence or plotting. In the chapter, “Echoing Footsteps” she mutilates a man, and rages against the monarchs faithfully by her husband’s side. I foreshadow much more violence, and a more important role for Madame Defarge.

  11. I have mixed feelings about Madame Defarge. When Madame was first introduced into the novel she was very mysterious through her actions. I always thought she was a character who will be helping people in the stroy. Later in the story I found out her registy is a hit lift in which she knitts all the names. From that point on I thought of Madame Defarge in a different perspective. Now I look at her as more of a dangerous and threatening charater. She has a lot of anger inside of her and can’t wait to join her husband and the Jacques in the reveloution. At this point I still don’t have a great sense of what Madames modives are and I still don’t have one particular feeling towards her.

  12. Madame Defarge has been relfected as a unsuspecting and quiet woman who sits in her husband’s wineshop knitting, seeming to be not a hostile. However, she is truly holding in the rage and vengeance brought by the oppression from the aristocrats. When Madame Defarge says “When the time comes, let loose a tiger and the devil.” it stresses the fact that she cannot wait for the spark to ignite revolution and the level of hatred that she injects into her knitting. This can also be shown through her creepy facial expressions that she expresses while forging the shrouds. All in all I think that Madame is one of the most interesting characters because she is the representation of desires for revolution.

  13. I don’t think that Madame Defarge is creepy. She’s definitely my favorite character in the novel because of her strength and bravery which she shows in chapters Knitting and Still Knitting. I think that SHE should be the one in charge of the ‘Jaques’ instead of her husband because she has such a good read on people. Mr. Defarge trusts people too easily, like the Mendor of the Roads. Madame extremely dedicated too which is a quality that I really like about her. She shows this by knitting a registry for the past 5 years. Madame Defarge is one of those women characters that show strength and leadership, which I respect tremendously.

  14. I think the madame defarge is extremly creepy. The way she puts the people’s names into the knitting is kind of scary. What scares me about her is that know that lucie and darney is married, wont they have to put lucie on the list? I would like to see what she does end up doing about that and if her and her husband do anything to not put lucie and darney on it. The one thing I do like about her is that she is not scared to help her husband even knowing that she could get introuble for it.

  15. Madame Defarge, on the surface, is a very creepy person. In actuality, she is a symbol of the revolutionaries in France; each of her idiosyncrasies has a purpose. When we first met the woman in the first few chapters of the book, she seemed modest, did not talk much (except for coughing), and part of the background. Instead, she turns out to be one of the proponents of the Jacques, and knits names in her registry of people she dislikes. I think that she will become one of the main characters in the coming revolution in France.

  16. I don’t like Madame Defarge much at all. I think Madame is a very scary person. I feel that Madame only cares about getting revenge on others who have treated her and other people poorly. Madame Defarge’s hit list is very alarming to me. I think she is getting a little trigger-happy on some of the names she has knitted down, like Charles Darney. What cruel things has Charles Darney done to Madame Defarge, or any other person, to deserve to be placed on Madame Defarge’s hit list? I don’t think that guilt by association should be a reason to kill Charles. Charles should be judged by his own character, and this should not be tainted by the fact that his uncle was the former Marquis.

    • I agree. I use to think she had a reason for killing people and maybe originally she did; but now i think anyone that even looks at her wrong could be “knit into her registry”. She’s a creepy character.

  17. Madame Defarge has extraordinary emotions to comprehend. It is very hard to know what she is going to do next in the story. She will probably end up doing something way out of the normal in the story when we least expect it. Although she is a shady character, I think she wants the best for her country.

    • I agree with you Derek, I think too that Madame Defarge is extremely hard to predict and no one knows what she is going to do next. Although we don’t know her next move, she has shown us throughout the book that she is capable of doing anything, especially the most vicious things. I think she might want what is best for the country too, but I think what is even more important to her is looking out for what is best for her. It seems like she is almost trying to build herself up and get the revolutionaries to follow her lead. She is starting to get too much power now as a revolutionary. She is now dictating too much regarding who should and shouldn’t be killed. She was the main one to order Charles to be rearrested, not one of the other revolutionaries.

  18. I can say that I have mixed feelings about Madame Defarge. I don’t know whether to think she’s brilliant for knitting an actual hit list that only she can read, or to think that she is extremely creepy. She sits in the wine shop totally unsuspecting to all. If I had to pick a person to run the Jacques it would most definitely be Madame Defarge simply because she is the last person anyone would suspect of creating an amateur militia group.

    • I feel the same way about her! I am conflicted on whether i like her for fighting in what she believes in or is she scares me and makes me unsure if we can trust her. It is brilliant how she can memorize how to create such a long registry. But, what if she translates it wrong on purpose? Tricky tricky!!

  19. Over the course of this book, I can not come to a conclusion about Madame Defarge. During certain points in the book, I find her to be either creepy or even scary. Although, at other points, I see her to be brave and courageous, with a stern determinination. The way Madame Defarge goes about knitting the “Hit List” for the Jacques, is another reason why I find her mysterious or different than everyone else. Overall, Madame Defarge is a character that can either be liked or dislike, depending on your opinion of her actions.

    • Hopefully after reading the first eight chapters of Book the Third, you have seen that Madame is definitely, as you said, a mysterious and creepy character. I completely agree with you, and will add that Madame is the epitome of darkness for this story. For example, when Madame visits Lucie and Little Lucie Chapter 3 of Book the Third, Madame casts a shadow so dark that Lucie feels the instinct to go and embrace her child. That scene alone depicts the amount of evil that Madame exhibits. Madame’s best friend, The Vengeance, has also been following her around. I believe that Madame’s actions in Book the Third have been nothing but ruthless and malevolent, and I somewhat admire that, but in the context of the story, she definitely stands out from everyone else and possesses a certain power in the midst of the chaos that is the French Revolution.

      • I agree with Tyler 100%. Madame Defarge is a creepy character. Almost to the point of being evil. The way she looks at little Lucie and then at Lucie makes you wonder what she is thinking. It’s almost like she is planning something with them. I like Madame Defarge as a character, but I do not trust her at all. There is a man that craves revolution, and then there is a woman that craves blood, and then there is Madame Defarge that just would enjoy watching the world burn.

  20. I used to think that Madame was a good person and supportive of her husband but after reading chapters 6 to 8 in book 3 I’ve concluded that Madame is a very creepy person. She seems to have her own agenda about who she is going to kill and what role she is going to play in the revolution. I wonder if she will do something without her husband knowing. Was she knitting Charles’s name into the registry while at the tribunal? She is unpredictable and creepy.

    • I agree with you on the most part. But I do not believe Madame to be creepy. Jerry is a creepy character, Madame is just evil. It’s like she enjoys killing all the people she had. And when she looks at little Lucie, it’s like she is planning to kill her! Madame Defarge is not nice at all. She is cruel. But god, I love her. She’s a character that you’re really not sure if you want to like.

  21. Madame Defarge is evil. Pure evil. At first I supported her and was impressed by the skill she had knitting names into her “shroud” but now I just find her cruel. She is beyond the point of bloodthirsty, she is body hungry. She wants stakes of bodies to be lined up. Madame Defarge would watch the world burn if she could. She’s sick, twisted, and absolutely insane. But she is one of my favorite characters. When she show’s up in the text, I know that it will be a good part. She makes the book interesting… Which it needed…

    • i agree kyle, i think she’s evil and stone hearted. whenever lucid asked her to have pity on her as a mother she did not. and whenever the book says that lucie said she was afraid of her she took it as a complement is just plain evil. unlike you she is not one of m favorite characters.

  22. Throughout the story I think Madame Defarge has always been the same mysterious women with tons of rage inside of her. In the beginning of the story all we knew about her was that she knitted most of the time, and “saw nothing.” Later we find out what she is knitting is a registry full of names to kill at the start of the revolution. As the revolution begins her fierce personality comes out. She is known to carry a knife and other weapons along with her. She seems to take more control than Mr. Defarge in the role of sparking the revolution. Overall I think Madame Defarge has always been this fierce character, we just didnt find out until later in the story.

  23. While Madame Defarge is evil, I believe that her reasons for being that way are justified after reading Chapter 12 in book 3. The peasants in France had been oppressed for many years and the injustice can be seen in the early stages of the book. Madame Defarge’s hatred for the power in France is seen throughout the book but there is really a deeper cause and that is exemplified in Chapter 12. While I do not like her ways, I do feel some sorrow for Madame Defarge and understand more her reasoning.

  24. Madame gives me the heeby-jeebies. It is astonishing that a woman can saw off a man’s head, march it around the town, and then return to being so composed. I liked her more when she didn’t talk. I thought it was cool in the earlier parts of Book 2 how she talked to Defarge and the Mender of the Roads in riddles, but now I cringe when she speaks. I wanted so badly to intervene when she and the Vengeance were knitting Little Lucie into the registry. I am hoping we can get to the end of the book without any more children dying.

  25. There are many view points that can be taken on Madame Defarge. In my opinion she is a very contraversial character because in certain sense she can in a way been seen as a light amoung the revolutionarys, but at the same time is a dark character because of the pain and suffering she wants to inflict on others. She is in a spot of power because of her connection with the Jacques. Honestly I like Madame Defarge because of how she keeps you on guard and lets face it her comment to the man who asked her what she was knitting was humourous! I admire the intelligence and secretive nature with her but I dont like how she holds true to the death by association. Her knitting is the sign of the intelligence and position of power. I feel like she runs things with an iron fist and once she says something to lit the flame of the angry sea she sits back and enjoys the chaos that soon follows. She may be an intense and cruel character but she is definetly interesting to read about.

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