Tale of Two Cities Is Term Paper

  • Length: 15 pages
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  • Subject: Literature
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #39161279

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The Revolutionary period and its effects and causes went beyond scores of years as highlighted by Dickens, but the major events of the French Revolution took place between 1787 and 1799 (Sorensen 6). During this period highlighted by Dickens, all the political power lay on the hands of the king as well as those people who owned the majority land, the clergy and the aristocracy. The vast majority of people comprised of the Third Estate that entailed peasants and the whole middle class of professionals and businesspersons. The Third Estate according to French history is one of the three categories through which members of the society were classified in French before the French Revolution. Third Estate represented the great majority of persons in the French society.

The First Estate or the Clergy and the Second Estate or the aristocracy benefitted from numerous privileges and rights that include tax exemptions. The Third Estate paid taxes and those who failed to pay their taxes received harsh punishments. Majority of the Third Estate members were abandoned in dismal cells due to minor violations (Glancy 9). These infamous letters allowed the aristocracy of the King, as a leader, to detain anyone without cause and trial. For instance, the sealed letter condemned Doctor Manette to the Bastille for eighteen years.

While these scenes take a few chapters of the story, they are written with dreadful intensity. Dickens views clearly enough that the French Revolution was bound to take place and that scores of the people executed deserved the treatment. The predictability of the terror and social injustices is stressed upon through the use of terms such as, "my Lord" is lolling in bed with four liveried footmen serving his chocolate and the poor starving outside" (Glancy 69). The French Revolution is something that took place because of centuries of oppression that made the French peasantry sub-human. The story is a reflection of the French Revolution, and Charles Dickens views the upshots as inevitable, but the causes could have been prevented. If the wicked nobleman could have changed, like scrooge, there could have been no Revolution.

The struggle of class is the major source of development and hence the nobleman who steals from the peasant and provokes him to riot is playing a crucial role, just as much as Jacobin who beheads the nobleman. Although Charles does not write anywhere in the novel a section that can be comprehended as a sign of the revolution, he views revolution as a monster begotten via tyranny and often culminates through devouring its own instruments. In Sydney Carton's vision at the foot of the guillotine, he predicts Defarge and other major terror spirits all expiring under the same knife.

Dickens knows that the revolution is a monster (Hennelly 220). The revolutionary scenes in his tales hold the qualities of a nightmare. Repeatedly, Dickens stresses on the pointless terrors of revolution, the injustice, and the frightful blood lust of the mob, the mass-butcheries and longstanding terror of spies. The definitions of the Paris mob, for example, the crowd of killers struggling round the grindstone to sharpen their arms prior to butchering the prisoners in the massacres demonstrates the revolutionary terror. The terror of revolutionary madness as highlighted in the novel was deep, "with their heads low down and their hands high up" (Glancy 70). People were mistreated and merciless killed by their oppressors.

Madame Therese Defarge is truly a fearful figure, most probably, Charles Dickens most triumphant trial at a malignant character. Madame Defarge and others are the new oppressors rising from the old destruction. The cruelest, lowest and worst population controls the revolutionary courts. Charles stresses on the nightmare insecurity of the period of revolution, and through this, he demonstrates a great deal of insight, "A law of the suspected, which struck away all security for liberty or life, and delivered over any good and innocent person to any bad and guilty one. Prisons gorged with people who had committed no offence, and could obtain no hearing" (Grancy 70). Dickens impulse exaggerates the horrors of revolution from a historical outlook. Through the highlight of tumbrils, rolling back and forth and blood knives, Dickens creates a special sinister vision in his mind. Tumbrils refers to an open handcart that skewed backward to pour out its load, in particular, one utilized to deliver censured prisoners to the guillotine.

A Tale of Two Cities offers a radical distillation of the historical novel's major convections and topics. For instance, Charles Darnay is a version of all, but a pensiveness of Scott's wavering hero, caught between opposing forces in a revolutionary crisis that involved by two cities, London and Paris (Bloom 22). The French Revolution, the archetypal historical incidence of contemporary times, demonstrates something more than an ultimate case of the historical novel's topos, a time-honored subject matter; a literary convention, of civil crisis. It is the novel's historical referent, its cause, for which its different risings, riots and rebellions are all fictional displacements.

In effect, Charles annihilates the historicism of the novel through collapsing it into its origins. While a Scott novel introduces the reader into its world via leisurely introductory phases of analysis and descriptions, the illustrious opening of A Tale of Two Cities disintegrates the major topos of historical placement, "The Period" through an ironical clashing of non-dialectical, definitely nonsensical oppositions. In his preface, Charles pays tribute to the philosophy of Mr. Thomas Carlyle's wonderful book. In fact, Carlyle's book published in 1837 supplied Charles with the key direction to his topic (Sorensen 5). Charles Dickens represent the French revolution an apocalyptic and disastrous that tries to render the world as historical element of spiritual and social change.

Through the tale, Dickens strengthens a structural antithesis between private life, public history and the domain of character that he renders as unmistakably critical and catastrophic (Sorensen 6). The accounts of collective life, and grand transformations highlighted in the novel lead to death. The cruelties of the ancient regime produced the 'Revolutionary Will' as a declaration of extermination, "I have this race a long time on my register, doomed to destruction and extermination" (Dickens301). The risk of extermination, invoked throughout the book demonstrates Dickens's thematic establishments. The themes highlighted in the novel guide the reader towards the most powerful philosophical system to come into view and from the tradition of empiricist in Victorian England (Ledger and Furneaux 164). A Tale of Two Cities represents a projected history in which the categories of individual morality, sentiment and urgency are subsumed into the cosmic, eventless scale of life and demise of populace.

Charles Dickens's, A Tale of Two Cities, characterizes the social and political climate that subsisted in Europe in the course of the period that lead to the French Revolution. Dickens did not know that his social principles and masterful writing style would be one of the most acknowledged writing styles in the modern world, particularly in the twenty first century. A Tale of Two Cities illustrates the risks of class variation and the worth assigned to the lives of human beings. These are dominating concerns in the contemporary social setting, and comprises of the setting of the French Revolution.

Charles highlights the terrors of poverty and intricacies of class variation. A Tale of Two Cities forms one of the most categorical exemplars of the risks linked to social stratification. Dickens examines the unfavorable impacts that the grand division amid the poor and the rich held in both the French and English societies. People from the English societies reacted to social divide periodically although without great certainty. Charles presents the irritability of people from the English society as a representation of the increasing hatred in France, which was experienced in centuries following the French revolution. His definition of the spendthrift Marquis and his call for a minimum of four men to put the chocolate to his lips distinguishes the picture of poor in Paris who were drinking dripped wine, " not only did it all get taken up, but mud got taken up along with it" (Dickens 25). The French king could not put down the developing violence and anger unlike the English ruler.

According to Dickens, the lords from France instigated the French Revolution through exploiting the poor. The animosity directed to the nobility rumbled in the sensitivity of the French people and exploded leading to the commencement of the French Revolution, " The remorseless sea of turbulently sawing shapes, voices of vengeance, and faces hardened in the furnaces' of suffering until the touch of pity could make no mark on them" (Dickens 204). Dickens passes on his own opinion regarding the turmoil that subsisted before and during the French revolution through condemning the brutal treatment towards the poor in the society, and the grandiose impassiveness of the affluent in the society.

In his novel, Dickens highlights the worth of human life. He acknowledges the human life via recounting of the European government accounts of criminal activities equivalents to one's life, "…

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