A Tale of Two Cities Book 2 – The Golden Thread

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 2 – The Golden Thread is the second book in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The title refers to the golden Lucie Manette, the gold strand because she connects some of this book’s characters, brightening their life.

The Golden Thread

The golden thread refers to Lucie Manette, the only daughter of Dr Manette. Her father spent eighteen years in the prison of La Bastille.  She has golden blond hair, and she is beautiful. Miss Manette is sweet, kind, and, she cares about her father very much. Lucie marries Charles Darnay, the nephew of the cruel and cynic aristocratic Monsieur Evrémonde. She represents a precious girl, as she is very compassionate and full of love for the others. Her golden soul is brimful of virtues and far from vicious sins. The Golden Thread is the second book of A Tale of Two Cities; it is the continuation of the first book – Recalled to Life

Knitting And Revolutionary Women

In Paris, a movement of revolutionary people recognises as leaders the couple Defarge. In particular, Madame Therese Defarge ha a supporting role inside this movement, with the purpose to remove the Crown from France. The plan includes the execution of all the nobility and aristocracy. In the same way as Lady Macbeth, in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Madame Defarge is cruel, and she plans, which person must die. Furthermore, at the same time, she is the head of a group of women who knit mostly during the executions. They have a cold, detached and, ruthless mind. The knitting recalls the Greek myth of the Moirae, the three Fates who ruled each human’s life. Indeed, knitting is a metaphor for human fate and destiny, which unexpectedly ends up.  

Women In The Golden Thread

In the Golden Thread, women have a central role, and they are not mere passive figures. Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge are different in appearance, manners and spirit. Lucie is beautiful, delicate, feminine, and flawless. The wine shop owner Madame Defarge is a woman who seeks revenge. In the novel, she is burly, cold minded and pitiless. 

We could think she is a human monster, but when we proceed up to the end of the third book, The Track of a Storm, we understand her behaviour. After the rape of her sister and the murder of her brother, she is hurt and full of grief. The Marquis St. Evrémonde was the man who committed such ferocious acts when he was young. He is the uncle of Charles Darnay, the husband of Lucie Manette, and he is also guilty of the murder of a child. 

As ingenious as she is, Lucie doesn’t know all these past events, which connect Therese Defarge and her husband, Charles. Her innocence anyway doesn’t move Madame Defarge, because she is very determined to exterminate all the Evrémonde family including Charles Darnay. Madame Defarge never stops knitting, and she never ceases to plan and organise her vengeance against those aristocrats, including their descendants. 

Family And Loyalty

In The Tale of Two Cities, the family represents an essential role in every type of society, among ordinary people and aristocracy. There are a strong connection and love in some families, such as between Lucie and her father. Nevertheless, sometimes the family links are unwelcomed and rejected like in Charles Darnay’s case with his noble uncle, the cruel and abusive Marquis St. Evrémonde. 

Loyalty and family don’t always walk together; there is no connection between some families’ components. As an example, Charles burns all the bridges with his aristocratic and wealthy family. He cannot bear the atrocities, which stained his family; hence, he builds a new life in England, renouncing all the privileges coming from his birth and changing his surname. Lucie and Charles marry and have a child, little Lucie.

The French peasants form a secret society, which creates a big family where people share the same principles and help each other with equality. Moreover, they are loyal to their common doctrine of liberty, equality and fraternity, leading the French Revolution.  

I cannot avoid recommending this book because it is an authentic masterpiece for its style and content. It’s rare to find all these qualities in a novel, and I have to confess that it is one of my favourite books up to now. 

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