Chapter 14: The knitting is complete
Mme. Defarge is now going to denounce Lucie and her daughter and Dr. Manette
that very evening and she goes to Lucie’s residence hoping and knowing that she will find Lucie grieving, which is an offence in the Republic as no grief is to be shown for those convicted of treason.
Mme. Defarge enters the apartment to find only Miss Pross, who pretends that
the family is within, behind the closed door.
The two cannot understand each other’s languages, but they know immediately that they are enemies. Mme. Defarge calls out to Lucie and then when there is no reply she suspects that they have already fled. She attempts to leave the room, but Miss Pross blocks her way. Mme. Defarge pulls out a gun, but Miss Pross strikes it aside and the gun goes off killing Mme. Defarge and permanently deafening Miss Pross.
She leaves the apartment and meets with Jerry Cruncher and they make their
There is yet another twist in the tale in that one of the central characters
is killed by a relatively minor character, but you will recall that Dickens made it clear that Miss Pross was the protector of Lucie, describing her as a wild looking woman.
The argument between the two women is the culmination of Miss Pross’
single-minded devotion to Lucie and Mme. Defarge’s determination to exterminate her. Both these women have dedicated their lives to this family, but with different purposes in mind.
The conflict, of course, is also between love and hate, but love can only
win when it is as strong as hatred.
Carton also has defeated Mme. Defarge’s hate by organizing Darnay’s escape.
The sacrifices are that Miss Pross loses her hearing, and Carton loses his