Essay about A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

Essay about A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

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Revolutionary themes can be found in literary symbolism in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities takes place the 1780’s when England and France were at war with each other. The radical ideas in France at the time were reflected in England’s politics which threatened the aristocrats and persecuted the peasants. In Chapter 16 entitled “Still Knitting” one may see many subversive concepts and the corruption of society including persecution and the fall of the privileged class. The analyzed passage details the idea of corruption through Madame Defarges knitting. The core of the revolution is represented by Madame Defarge and the passage illustrates diction, contrast and symbols to bring out the corruption in society that was caused by the revolution. The literal meaning of this passage is the degradation of society and the figurative meaning is the true intentions behind the revolutionists.
The passage in the chapter “Still Knitting” in A Tale of Two Cities shows the dark reality behind the imagery of knitting. The dark imagery within the passage describing how Madame Defarges knitting brings out dark symbolism. By the use of language and certain words such as “darkness” we can sense the mood and emotion behind this passage. From this passage we learn that Madame Defarge has been knitting names in her list of those to be executed. All the women knitting are the faces of the revolution and the center of all corruption. Madame is targeting certain groups and remaining discreet about everything. By the end of the passage we get a real sense of what is happening “they were to sit knitting, knitting, counting dropping heads”. This outlines the true intentions of Madame Defarge to support the societal corruption of ...


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...he violence, and although the upper class may be different in socioeconomic status they are similar in their corrupt ways. It is also ironic that they detail that the upper class knows that the lower class is poor and without food by saying “the stomachs would have been more famine- pinched”. This also connects to the point made earlier that the upper class is more corrupt because they have instigated these actions of distrust in the community.
Overall this passage details the small hints about the revolution and the intertwining of groups and people involved. The passage focuses on Madame Defarge and her knit list. Madame Defarge targets certain groups of people and is a symbol for the French Revolution. With the use of diction, mood, contrast and symbols one can infer the ideas of the revolution and begin to understand the complex meanings behind literary symbols.

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