The French Revolution In The Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

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Future to Choose “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” - John F. Kennedy. After the American Revolution, French soldiers returned filled with ideas of freedom and revolution. These thoughts, combined with the oppression of the aristocracy and poverty of the lower classes, resulted in the explosion of the French Revolution in 1789 (Stordahl). The Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is regarded as one of the most famous pieces of literature about the French Revolution. At first glance, it is a tale of a romance during a dangerous time, but underneath the surface lies the critiques of Dickens on society and the consequences of leaving it unchecked. The novel is Dickens’ warning to England …show more content…
The reasons for many of these rebellions--heavy taxation, high prices, and overwork--notably similar to those that spurred the French revolution.” (Moss and Wilson 376) This murder is foreshadowing a future of the rich and powerful of England if they continue to disregard the proletariats.
The French Revolution is featured prominently in the novel, as it is where Dicken writes on the dangers of having such a revolution. Historically, it began in 1789 after Estate-General rejected the demands of the Third Estate to have votes according to population and not per estate (Stordahl). In response, the National Assembly announce itself as the new government of France. The Storming of the Bastille, during the same year, creates the spark that will burn into a revolutionary fervor (Kagel). It is a chaotic battle with “flashing weapons, blazing torches, smoking waggon-loads of wet straw, hard work at neighbouring barricade in all directions, shrieks volleys, execrations, bravery without stint, boom,smash and rattle...” (Dickens 218). The revolutionaries overcome the fortress of a prison, but are describe as being part of a mass. They are considered simply as another member of the sea of chaos “that rushed in, as if there were an eternity of people” (219). The revolutionaries are bound together under
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For France, where revolution has already passed, the “long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, [will perish] by this retributive instrument” (381). Literary Critic Harold Bloom adds: “Revolution as [Dickens] sees it is merely a monster that is begotten by tyranny and always ends by devouring its owns instruments” (Bloom 4576). After the oppressors are gone, “a beautiful city and a brilliant people [will rise] from this abyss” ( Dickens 381) left by the destruction of the revolution. In England, which is untouched, lives are “peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy”. The wrongs of the revolution to the Darnay family, are resolved in the novel by the sacrifice of another, Sydney Carton. This is message to those that need to give up a little, so that disaster will not fall upon everyone. This is one of the wishes for England future. An England where the rich are truly noble, and there is no chance for a destructive

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