The Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequality as Portrayed by Tale of Two Cities
Frederick Douglass once said, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” He meant that if people are oppressed, one day they will pass their breaking point and fight back. As a consequence neither side will be safe or secure as violence and terror would corrupt them both. In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the author employs satire, symbolism, and irony to emphasize the social/economic inequality between the wealthy and the poor. The inequality is revealed
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The lowest class included laborers, they averagely made a wage that would just barely cover their expenses. However low wages meant sparse diets and heavy labor. (“The Working Classes and The Poor”) These conditions would result in revolts against the rich. Others without jobs would have to either beg, do odd jobs or go to a workhouse; none of the options were that appealing. When begging, children would often be maimed to receive more money (“The Working Classes and The Poor”). The workhouses, on the other hand, were created for the poor by the rich, but designed to deter them with appalling conditions and intense labor ("The Working Classes and The Poor"). On the other end of this spectrum were the wealthy, with lavish lifestyles and more than enough money to feed themselves. The rich lived in massive estates in luxury and had plenty of time for leisure activities. The activities included croquet, tennis, family picnics, theater, and many sporting events (“Being Victorian - The Middle/Upper Class”). The upper class usually hosted or attended many extravagant parties. Many families also employed those in the classes below to work as governesses, maids, etc (“Being Victorian - The Middle/Upper Class”). The stark contrast between the two lifestyles were highly noticeable and Dicken’s felt this would lead to revolt, as it had in France a couple of decades before, unless major changes were made.
The extravagant lifestyle of the upper class is