A Tale of Two Cities Essay: Vengeance and Blood

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Vengeance and Blood in A Tale of Two Cities

In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens depicts how pointless the revolution becomes when the original goal of equality becomes lost when the anger, frustration, and desire for revenge of the third estate is finally discharged. The trial of Charles Darnay, the words and actions of
Madame Defarge, and use of symbolism and foreshadowing show how anger

drove the revolution to a state of pointlessness.

One major reason the revolution became out of hand was due to unscrupulous people running the courts and the imprisonment of innocent people for no reason. Charles Darnay happens to be a character in dire trouble, when he finds himself being imprisoned and tried before an unjust tribunal. Darnay was a wealthy man who left France, but returned to help a former servant and " was accused by the public prosecutor as an emigrant, whose life was forfeit to the Republic, under the decree which banished all emigrants on pain of Death" (413). One way to impose revenge on the higher classes was to sentence them to death for little or no reason, which was the case with Darnay. At his second trial Darnay realized that " before the unjust Tribunal, there was little or no order of procedure, ensuring to any accused person any reasonable hearing.
There could have been no such Revolution, if all laws, forms, and ceremonies, had no first been so monstrously abused, that the suicidal vengeance of the Revolution was to scatter them all to the winds" (457).
The chaotic and murderous atmosphere within the courts reflected the frenzied state that lay outside of its dreaded doors. Another example of revenge can be seen in the character Madame Defarge.

Madame Defarge represents the people in France who gave in to hate to satisfy the hurt and pain that had churned inside of them for so long, and is finally released in murder and acts of revenge. She was a woman without pity and virtue. For " it was nothing to her, that an innocent man was to die for the sins of his forefathers; she saw, not him, but them. It was nothing to her, that his wife was to be made a widow and his daughter an orphan; that was insufficient punishment, because they were her natural enemies and her prey, and as such had no right to live" (
524). Many people showed this same type of vindictiveness, which created a curtain that blocked the original goal of the third estate.

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