To what extent do the characters in this novel shape their own destinies? To what extent do forces outside their control determine their fate?.
In the novel A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens uses strong literary techniques like themes, symbolism or motifs. One motif that appears on several occasions is the way the characters, to a certain extent, either their cast their own destinies or forces outside their control bound their fate. Some ways of how this device is exercised are among characters such as: the Marquis, Mme. Defarge and Sydney Carton.
Monsieur the Marquis Evrémonde, uncle of Charles Darnay, is an aristocrat. He is a spoiled man, so indulged that it takes four grown men to get hot chocolate down his highborn throat. This is a small introduction as to how stubborn and perhaps ignorant he is. He is also a cruel man who disregards the feelings of anyone under his power. This is evident when he is traveling by carriage one day. He ordered the valet to go faster but as they were rounding a fountain, the carriage hit a child. The Marquis gets out, complains of the noise then without pity, comments to the people "that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the way.""(p. 101). Then he goes on about the inconvenience this is for him and that his horses may be injured as a result, even though it was he who forced the unnecessary speed of the carriage. He threw gold coins into the street for the loss of the child, as if it was an object and he offers no condolences. He also shouts things like "you dogs!-(p. 102) to say the peasants are so worthless that they are on the same level as dogs. The next day the Marquis was found dead with a paper that had inscribed "Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from JACQUES.""(p.118). With the presentation of the letter written by Dr. Manette in chapter ten about the Marquis and his brother's actions, the cruelty is more evident.