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Recalled to Change

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The sun relentlessly beat down on the great bloodthirsty mob as they marched toward the Bastille , towards a very overdue change. It was the of July 14th, 1789 and the raw reality of hunger and the ferocious need for justice had finally become too much for the people of France. The mob overtook the armory and by doing so sent a clear message of defiance to the king and aristocracy of France. The commoners were through with the perpetual disparity between the monarchy and peasants. They demanded justice, and were determined to attain it one way or another. This impassioned murderous attack fanned the flame of a rebellion that is now known as the French Revolution.

English novelist, Charles Dickens, understood the feelings of the French commoners, for he too was oppressed. Forced to end school and work in a factory when he was only a youth, Dickens got a first-hand taste of the injustice governments often deal out. Nevertheless, Dickens’ sympathies were provisional; he condemned the French for their lack of genuine respect for life. In search for a new and improved France, the people had lost sight of the value of life. Dickens grew apprehensive as he recognized a craving for change, swelling up throughout England. This change that could only be achieved through something as austere as the French Revolution. Through his esteemed book, A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens was able to publicly expresses these concerns to the English people.

Set in the first days of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities centers aroundon the surmounting political and social unrest of France that intertwines the lives of an English family and a group of steadfast French revolutionaries. Jarvis Lorry, “a man of business” (Dickens 25), and Lucie Mane...

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...l react in a way that can only lead to a period of destructive revolution. Tired of seeing society “squeezing Death in with most inappropriate difficulty” (Dickens 267), Dickens speaks out against fanning the flame of revolution through unjust acts, for they will undoubtedly lead to similar bloodshed. Although much of the novel describes the atrocities of the French Revolution and the death it caused, ultimately A Tale of Two Cities expresses the principle that death will make way for a new and better society. Sydney Carton, Dickens best example of the theme of death and resurrection in the novel, spends most of his life in an apathetic state, yet his final supreme Christ-like act of death speaks to the human capacity for change. For while death is an inescapable part of life that is often the catalyst needed for change, life is and always will be of great value.
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