Thesis on a Tale of Two Cities

Thesis on a Tale of Two Cities

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Charles Dickens’s voice varies from being sympathetic with the revolutionaries, to a feeling of discord with their method of revolting. A Tale of Two Cities revolves around the French revolution and the tension in England. Dickens gives the tale of a family caught in the conflict between the French aristocracy and radicals. In the course of the book, the family handles extreme difficulty and obscurity. Dickens’s neutrality, though sometimes wavering from side to side, is apparent throughout each book in the novel.
     
     Throughout the book, Dickens portrays his objectivity between the classes through a series of graphic descriptions. For example, the horrid events that occur when the Marquis murders the child is a time when Dickens most definitely favors the rebels. Dickens’s attitude when Jacques kills the Marquis is that justice has been supplied. There is a definite tone of approval in his voice after these actions. On the other hand, Dickens’s attitude towards the mutineers is not always one of endorsement. When the activists nearly kill Gabelle and burn the Chateau, Dickens’s attitude changes from one of approval to one of disbelief. His disposition is almost one of sorrow for all the beauty being carelessly destroyed. As the reader can see, Dickens’s opinion varies greatly in accordance to the portion of the story the person is reading.
     Possibly, to find the clearest image of Dickens’s neutrality, the reader needs to gain a larger view of the tale.     As the reader sees a broader picture, a pattern emerges. Dickens, in each book, gives the tale in favor of the different parties, showing his indifference to the outcome of each party. Thus while the reader may form feelings towards the revolutionaries, Dickens stays unmoved by both causes and relates the story accordingly. This way of showing Dickens’s apathy once again proves that Dickens is only partial to either side in certain portions of the book.
     Perhaps the clearest illustration of Dickens’s neutrality is located in the very first sentence of the novel. He shows his neutrality through the description “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .(7).” This unusually comparative sentence single-handedly starts the book with a feeling of un-bias. In the final chapter of the book, six carriages carry “the days wine” (people) to La Guillotine to be be-headed (374). In this passage, Dickens shows his remorse for what is done. He gives hint that the common-folk were once a good people who are perverted by the aristocracy, and given the same conditions will be perverted again.

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Yet the very same passage can be interpreted a very different way. The reader can also see that the radicals are overreacting, and the carnage is far too much. Dickens in this case can bee seen from any angle, either one determining whether or not he has a favorable opinion for each of the opposing parties.
     Dickens gives this tale of a struggling family appropriately, neutral from either side, showing emotion only in a minimum of chapters. His voice remains impartial as the family faces the hardship and gloom of the French revolution. Although his voice essentially remained unbiased, he shows his sentiment in extremely passionate places.
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