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A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

2) How does Madame Defarge die?

Madame Defarge is killed when her pistol accidentally fires as she struggles with Miss Pross. Madame Defarge is trying to find Lucie and little Lucie in order to attack and kill them, and Miss Pross is determined to protect the family by concealing the fact that they have fled. The struggle between the two women becomes an opportunity to show how “the vigorous tenacity of love [is] always so much stronger than hate.” The fact that Madame Defarge is killed by her own weapon suggests that those who choose violence and hatred set themselves on a path that is likely to backfire and destroy them.