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A Tale Of Inhumanity Essay

918 words - 4 pages

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, occurs in two cities, Paris and London, during the commencement of the French Revolution. Revolution is a major theme in this novel, which makes it one of his most gloomy stories. Dickens’ portrayal of the French Revolution proves the inhumanity of humans towards one another. Although the theme of revolution carries a dark tone, Dickens uses his expertise to include happy moments that lighten the story. A Tale of Two Cities incorporates the theme of inhumanity through many metaphors, such as “the great blue flies,” knitting, and the sea.
The “great blue flies” symbolize London’s citizens, their thirst for human suffering, and their reliance on ...view middle of the document...

The knitters are two wrathful female citizens of Paris, Madame Defarge and the Vengeance, who are always “knitting away assiduously” (171). The tapestry they knit contains the names and descriptions of those who they believe should die, and plan to kill. These two women show no mercy towards those they plan to kill. “The fingers of the knitting women were vicious” and they never miss a moment. The women see everything and are always eager to weave a new victim into the intricate pattern of the tapestry (138). One could almost see the hatred in the women’s hearts by the aggressive movement of each needle, moved by their evil fingers with each new name threaded in. Many quotes throughout the story illustrate Madame Defarge’s evil heart including, “Madame Defarge, stopping in her work for the first time, and pointing her knitting needle at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate” (207). Since Madame Defarge is always plotting to kill someone, her knitting needles are the “fingers of Fate” that decide who should die and when. She is the controller of the fate of many people she believes should die, as she knits names into her tapestry. Knitting needles are also made of bone, which makes this metaphor even more logical. Through these moments, Dickens shows that a woman, however deceptive it may be, can be just as heartless as any man can be, and they are capable of great evil and cruelty.
Dickens also compares the citizens of Paris to a great sea, as they are an uncontrollable mass, always fluctuating in their emotions and full of rage. Dickens uses “A great storm in France with a dreadful sea rising” to explain the magnitude and...

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