A Tale Of Two Cities, By Chrales Dickens

1720 words - 7 pages

In the 18th century, a tranquil life was easy but also difficult to find. From the continent of Europe, two of the world leading powers were England and France. Separated by the English Channel, the two countries had set aside their differences and conflicts of the past and became neighbors. However the society of each individual country has its own notion of a perfect social environment. Neither country was affected by the other. Both regions were still under the royals’ and other nobles’ authorities, who make all the laws and possess most of the wealth. From a high rank of social classes, the nobles do not give a second look at the peasants. Thus, looking at each country by itself, the effects that the peasants have on the government are extremely different. From A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens illustrated a period of differences between the fragile monarch and its justice department, along with the roles of businesses during the turmoil of the French Revolution.
Dickens begins by illuminating England’s and France’s differences. The opening paragraph does not include a place or time, but instead uses imagery to build the plot:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of the nosiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (7)
Dickens compares and analyzes the period of England and France. From the excerpt above, the readers can conclude that England and France do not have anything in common; they are completely contradicting one another. England seems to be in a “favoured period” (7), where excitement takes place: the birthday celebration of Mrs. Southcott, and the rumor of a ghost. On the other hand, France is not in its popular time period. Cruel punishments are given to men, women and children. Crimes such as not showing respect to a monk from far away will results in slow, painful death. Additionally, its economy has been weakened, as the aristocrats spend money on luxuries, rather than helping the poor. However, the royals from both countries share some similar characteristics. They are born to be in the positions that they are in and nothing can challenge this. When the French Revolution starts, things begin to alter for the aristocrats in France. The changes eventually lead to the execution of the French king and queen: “Now, breaking the unnatural silence of the whole city, the executioner showed the people the head of the king – and now, it seemed almost in the same breath, the head of his fair wife which had...

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