Heartlessness In The Face Of Humanity

1097 words - 5 pages

The French Revolution is a war between the peasants and the aristocrats. A Tale of Two Cities is by Charles Dickens and is set in England and France from 1775-1793. The French Revolution is starting to come about because the French peasants are trying to model their revolution after the American Revolution. King Louis XVI of France supported the colonists in the American Revolution; therefore, it is ironic that he does not help the poor, distressed, and oppressed peasants in France. The peasants are trying to rise against the oppressive aristocrats because the rich are unfeeling and mean towards the poor serfs. In A Tale of Two Cities, the symbols help represent the theme of man’s inhumanity ...view middle of the document...

Defarge, a Frenchman, runs a wine shop and is a strong force behind the French Revolution. Defarge remarks, “And if you were shown a flock of birds, unable to fly,...you would set upon the birds of the finest feathers; would you not?” (134) He is talking to the mender of the roads, who is infatuated with the nobility’s posh lifestyle. The mender of the roads makes the upper class believe that their world will never change, but the world is changing and not in favor of the wealthy class. Because of the nobility’s unfeeling attitude and inhumanity towards the impoverished peasants, the poor want to start a revolution to get rid of the terrible aristocrats.
Throughout the story, the Gorgon’s head represents that the Monsieur the Marquis of St. Evremonde. The chateau looks, “As if the Gorgon’s head had surveyed it, when it was finished two centuries ago.” (90) The chateau of the Marquis is made of stone just like the Marquis’ heart. He is unfeeling and uncaring toward the indigent poor; therefore, change needs to come about. For example, the Marquis killed a child and tried to compensate with a gold coin. Even though the rich have gotten away with their crimes for two centuries, their lifestyle is soon about to change. Gaspard, the father of the child who was killed, murders the Marquis in revenge. The peasants also set fire to the chateau and “When the great masses of stone and timber fell, the face...became obscured...as if it were the face of the cruel Marquis, burning at the stake and contending with the fire.” (179) This tells one that the revolution is starting to begin because the poverty-stricken are tired of being treated badly by the insolent nobility. There is also the foreshadowing that all of the upper class is going to be killed. Since the poor have been diminished for so long, the time has come for them to rise against the inhumanity of their oppressors and to break free.
The symbol of knitting shows that the poor are trying to rise above their oppressors, but they are becoming just like their oppressors because they are willing to kill...

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