Sympathy For The Aristocrats In A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

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Blood, terror, and war. All were characteristics of the French Revolution. The revolution began in France after peasants grew tired of the malevolence and poverty they faced at the hands of the French aristocracy (Sarpparaje 125). Charles Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities follows the lives of numerous characters living in London, England and Paris, France. It begins in the year 1775, just before the start of the French Revolution (Dickens 5). Throughout the book A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens shows sympathy towards both the aristocracy and the revolutionaries; however, although he shows sympathy to both, Charles Dickens is more sympathetic to the French aristocracy. Dickens shows sympathy for the French aristocracy through the imprisonment …show more content…
The revolutionaries are often described as a bloodthirsty, violent mob. The article “Dickens’ Views on the French Revolution” labels the revolutionaries as animalistic, wild, and demonic (1). The wild state of the revolutionaries must have instilled fear in the minds of the aristocrats, expanding on the idea that Dickens shows more sympathy towards the aristocrats. Moreover, the violent death via guillotine allowed the revolutionaries to more easily and mindlessly murder large sums of the aristocrats (Sarpparaje 126). For example, on one particular day, the revolutionaries were able to kill 52 aristocrats using the guillotine (Dickens 371). Dickens gives immense detail regarding the guillotine and how the revolutionaries exploit it to use against the aristocrats, even going so far as to compare those awaiting execution to wine (“Thesis on A Tale of Two Cities” 1). It is evident that the revolutionaries are desiring the blood and destruction of the aristocrats. This furthers the idea that Dickens’s sympathies lie more heavily with the aristocrats, as he shows the violence and cruelty that was inflicted upon the aristocrats by the …show more content…
However, his sympathy toward the French aristocracy is more prevalent. Dickens frequently notes the imprisonment and killings of innocent people due to their status as an aristocrat. Also, Dickens demonstrates the ferocity and viciousness the revolutionaries are in great detail. These inform the reader that he sympathizes with the aristocrats. While it can be argued that Dickens sympathizes more with the revolutionaries because the beginning of the novel lays emphasis on the social injustice that occurs and how the peasants/eventual revolutionaries are treated like vermin, they took it to a new level and produced far too much carnage. Dickens’s thrilling novel A Tale of Two Cities effectively informs the reader of the barbaric events of the French Revolution whilst expressing his increased sympathy toward the French

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