The Role Of Starvation In A Tale Of Two Cities

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Starvation portrayed a pivotal role in the rage of the 18th century French peasants in the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. A lack of leadership and a poor economy can spark a distrust for any countries leaders, but when entire families are being eradicated by a serious aliment hatred will be felt. Starvation is a serious issue that can lead to various physical and psycho-social issues that can amplify feelings of rage. By the summer of 1789 France was in a grave financial crisis. The French monarch, Louis XVI, had taken the throne after his grandfather in 1774. He was believed to be an intelligent king, but he was often blinded by his wife, Marie Antoinette, who had great influence over him. Louis had drained a great …show more content…
With the debt continuously growing, and multiple taxes forced on them, the middle and lower class peasants were found with almost nothing to live off of . The peasants in A Tale of Two Cities felt the pain of a multitude of taxes ‘…the tax for the state, the tax for the church, the tax for the lord, tax local and tax general…’(Dickens 119). Addition to the tensions of a hefty debt was a harvest failure that occurred in 1788-89. The harvest failure was due to a heavy hailstorm in 1788 that left many of the farmers crops decimated; this fed into a decline in the seeds available for 1789 (“Harvest Failures” 1). With such a minuscule amount of crops available farmers would sell to whoever would give them the highest price because of this poor families often went without. The harvest failures not only affected the hungry, it also affected the economy. The wealthy were being forced to pay high prices for bread and less was being spent on frivolous items. Since food was a necessity less was being spent on merchandise like clothing, furniture, and other decorative items. Vendors who sold these products were now struggling to keep stores open and feed their …show more content…
Some of the deadly consequences of malnutrition are electrolyte imbalance, muscle loss, immunity and blood flow issues, and heart problems. Once the body reaches the point of malnutrition it goes into what is known as starvation mode. When a body lacks the nutrients it needs it will take from itself. When the human body has an electrolyte imbalance caused by starvation there can be a deficiency of potassium, calcium, and sodium. Sodium is used to balance fluid and control nerve and muscle function. Extremely low sodium and potassium levels can cause muscle twitches, seizures, light-headedness, and coma. Calcium is a significant part of growth, turnover, and healthy cardiac function. If calcium levels are depleted it can trigger weakness and confusion (Sulzer 1). Muscle loss will ensue. The body makes up for the deprivation of food by using muscle mass to create energy. This will cause extreme weakness and even paralysis, but it will keep organs functioning (Peele 1). Heart disease and even failure is possible from malnutrition. The lack of nutrients can cause the heart to become thin and limp; this in addition to electrolyte imbalance affects the heart muscle. It can also cause bradycardia and heart palpations ( “Consequences of Eating…” 1). Blood issues that are common with starvation include anemia and pancytopenia ( “Anorexia Nervosa” 1). There are also various

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