The French Revolution was one of the most deadly times in all of history. Charles Dickens’ most famous novel A Tale of Two Cities captures this massive period of death and destruction perfectly. War can be a messy, unstable beast, destroying many relationships in its path. Revenge is one of the quickest ways to do this, which is why Dickens uses it as a major theme throughout the novel. Dickens does a great job showing how revenge shows no mercy.
The French Revolution was a chaotic, destructive time. This is clearly illustrated in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In this novel, there are many examples of inhumanity, especially during the revolutionaries’ attacks against anyone who was believed to be treasonous or aristocratic. Men were very cruel to their fellow men, even creating the monstrous guillotine to kill people faster and more efficiently. Charles Dickens portrays such violence from the French Revolution very well with the symbols of the blue-flies, the storm, and red wine.
The blood red hue of the grindstone represents the inhumanity of taking innocent lives and the blood that cannot be revoked. Man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man is represented throughout every stage of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities through symbols such as the blue flies, the knitting, the shadow, and the grindstone. The blue flies show that the English people are just as bloodthirsty as the French are during the novel. The knitting and the shadow are examples that represent the French people’s heartlessness toward other men. The grindstone displays the fact that the mercilessness of each individual affects the Earth by overwhelming it with blood.
Dickens uses symbols to develop the message of the true nature of revolution with the use of blood and wine to paint the theme of the natural inclination of brutality within the revolutionaries, the echoing footsteps to symbolize the ever-present evil that lies beneath everyone, and Carton as the Christ-like figure to prove the perpetual possibility of resurrection. Throughout the novel there is a ravenous hunger that lies in the hearts of the peasants that reveals the inevitable tendency toward violence and oppression in revolutionaries that is displayed through the symbolic use of blood and wine. In front of the Defarge’s wine shop, a large cask of wine spilt into the streets where “men and women dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads, which... ... middle of paper ... ...n is possible in any circumstance. The intertwining themes of this novel create an image of a society that is drowned in complete chaos, but can emerge from the darkness through the resurrection of love. Charles Dickens’ purpose for this novel was so that history would not repeat itself in England and that if the English citizens did not realize the path of destruction that they were on, it would result in a revolution like France.
Because of the social and political ways of the aristocracy, tensions rose throughout France. This hostility between the peasants and the aristocrats started the French Revolution in 1789. Sixty years later, Charles Dickens wrote his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, in pieces. Dickens wonderfully portrays this war with his flawless imagery and reoccurring themes. One of his many themes throughout his novel is the theme of revenge.
This is a constant feature throughout the novel and not only pokes fun but reveals the terrible treatment of orphans and the anti-Semitism, which culminates in the stereotypical Jew- Fagin, at the time this book was written. This book is a true classic of 19th century fiction. Irony is present throughout Oliver Twist and is one of the main literary devices that Dickens uses. Dickens uses a lot of really sharp irony in Oliver Twist to satirize the various institutions (the parish workhouse system, the justice system, the poor laws, etc.) that he thought were inhumane and unjust.
Dickens’ s first use of imagery sets the scene in France before the Revolution and gives the reader a glimpse into the hard and desperate lives of the peasants, and the extraordinarily opposite lives of the cruel, unforgiving nobles. This is first portrayed through a scene where a wine cask is dropped and broken in the streets of one of the most wanting towns, St Antoine. The peasants and all those standing around “suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine,” (Dickens 20). The common people of this town are so anguished that they rush and willingly drink every drop of wine up off the filthy streets. Even though the peasants are barely able to get any wine, it still brin... ... middle of paper ... ... confirms what the reader believes: that these people do not deserve to die.
The French Revolution, which occurred in the late 1700’s was a period in history marked by violence and cruelty among classes. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens powerfully depicts the cruelty of French society during this time of struggle. Throughout the novel, Dickens illustrates the theme of cruelty and inhumanity of men to their fellow countryman in France. This theme grows with each chapter and each brutal event in the novel. Dickens effectively develops the theme of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man in A Tale of Two Cities by showing various acts of cruelty including, the horrific murder of Old Foulon by the villagers, the extremes that the Revolutionaries take in killing innocent nobles, and the noble Evrémonde family’s careless and harmful treatment of a peasant family.
La Guillotine proves how the actions of inhumanity during the revolution are so gruesome and unjust. The grindstone, knitting, and La Guillotine excellently symbolize one theme of a Tale of Two Cities, inhumanity of men towards men. The blood shed during the revolution symbolizes the wrongness of man inflicting pain on others. Also, the killing, planning of murders, and the weapons used are all signs of using resources to hurt and avenge instead of bring justice to the people. By giving the reader these Metaphors, Dickens teaches the reader that inhumanity towards his own can go too far because of an extreme thirst and need for vengeance.
Hugo describes the setting of Les Misérables with great detail. Part of the motives of Hugo were to set a tone of miserable elements for the lead character Valjean, and for anyone who lived under the poverty line in France in the early nineteenth century. Poverty was rampant during these times and with the radical “science” of reactionaries, many people were condemned for life due to a mistake they may have made early in their life. The surroundings and details described are very accurate and play a very large role in the storyline. This description of the elements faced by the poor and underprivileged was an obvious stab at the government and greatly emphasizes the story’s plot of redemption.