Character Analysis Ernest Defarge


Defarge was Doctor Alexandre Manette's servant as a young man, and he seems to have a filial reverence for him during the Revolution. However, when the Doctor was newly released from prison, Defarge was not above exploiting his insanity as a spectacle to further the revolutionary cause. As a revolutionary leader, Defarge organizes the Jacquerie and helps lead the mob in storming the Bastille. He bases his desire for revolution more upon a desire for positive change than the bloodthirst of his wife, as demonstrated when he resists denouncing Doctor Manette, Lucie, and young Lucie simply because of their relationship to Darnay. His wife interprets his scruples as weakness, giving the reader the impression that before long revolutionaries such as Jacques Three will turn on Defarge and send him to the guillotine himself. Defarge represents the more rational aspect of the Revolution. He is not blinded by class hatred and retains his conscience and sense of fairness. His ability to empathize with those people Madame Defarge views as enemies, however, will probably result in his death, showing how out of control the Revolution became as paranoia and violence destroyed its positive forces.