Le Journal du séducteur

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Søren Kierkegaard

The road mender and the Defarges part ways, and the Defarges return to their village.  When Monsieur Defarge gets home, one of the Jacquerie, who happens to be a policeman, brings him a critical piece of information:  Defarge needs to be on the lookout for John Barsad, a spy who has come to the area.  With this information in mind, Monsieur Defarge returns to the wine shop.  At this point, Dickens gives the readers insight into the Defarges’ personal life. While discussing the Revolution, Monsieur Defarge talks to his wife about his fears and concerns, and she responds with some degree of compassion.  This scene is significant because it reveals that Madame Defarge, though normally a harsh and unyielding woman, is not simply a one-dimensional villain.  This is in direct contrast to her behavior at the conclusion of the chapter.

The spy, John Barsad, visits the Defarges’ wine shop.  He begins questioning the Defarges about how the town has responded to Gaspard’s execution, but they feign ignorance of his questions.  However, the questioning infuriates Madame Defarge.  Though she gives no outward signs of being upset, she knits Barsad’s name into the Register.  Barsad also brings the Defarges a critical piece of information:  Darnay and Lucie are engaged to be married.  Monsieur Defarge, who was very loyal to Dr. Manette, tells his wife that he hopes Darnay and Lucie stay away from France.  He clearly does not have any enmity for the two of them.  However, while she does not overtly contradict her husband, Madame Defarge has already made her plans to target Darnay and the Manettes; she knits Darnay’s name into the register next to Barsad’s.

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