Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #7

For, they are headlong, mad, and dangerous; and in the years so long after the breaking of the cask at Defarge's wine-shop door, they are not easily purified when once stained red. (2.21.79)

Dickens’s opinion of the French Revolution is a complicated one: while the sort of poverty which causes people to grovel for wine in the streets is pitiable, the mob mentality which thirsts for blood is a terrible force in this novel.

Quote #8

For, the footsteps had become to their minds as the footsteps of a people, tumultuous under a red flag and with their country declared in danger, changed into wild beasts, by terrible enchantment long persisted in. (2.24.2)

The coming of war is signaled by the devolution of a nation into a pack of wild animals.

Quote #9

"Well, well," reasoned Defarge, "but one must stop somewhere. After all, the question is still where?"

"At extermination," said madame. (3.12.17-18)

If Madame Defarge had her way, there would be no real end to the violence of the revolution. As we see, "extermination" becomes an all-consuming and vastly unjust undertaking.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top