Literary Comparisons Of Revolutionary France Essay

1735 words - 7 pages

Literary Comparisons of Revolutionary France

The period of time in France prior to the French Revolution was know as the ancien regime, which translates to, “the old way.” This was a time where if you were fortunate enough to be born into an upper class family, you lived very well, but if you were not so lucky, you lived quite miserably. Chances were, however, that you did not belong to this upper class society. Only about three percent of the population made up this class and consisted of nobles and the clergy. The remaining 97% was referred to as the third estate and included middle class merchants and professionals, collectively known as the bourgeoisie, as well as the farmers and peasants.
The third estate essentially was France’s economy at that time. “This complicated tax system was both inefficient and unfair,” (Hanson 34). The upper class enjoyed many privileges such as tax exemptions that the third estate did not have. Therefore, the third estate basically funded the wealth and luxury of the upper class. When the economy slumped, the already struggling peasants were asked to contribute more. It is estimated that peasants “paid direct taxes equal to 50 to 60 percent of his gross harvest. Given that a fifth to a quarter of the harvest had to be saved for seed for the following year, this left very little grain for the family to consume,” (Hanson 34).
Needless to say, with this state of economic instability and unhappiness among the masses, a drastic change (i.e. the Revolution) was inevitable. The works of many writers influenced these changes. Three such authors were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, and Emanuel-Joseph Sieyes and are known for their respective works, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, and What is the Third Estate? Each writer succeeds in pointing out the faults of France’s current social structure, primarily the rights and privileges of the aristocracy, and influences change to occur.
Rousseau criticizes the aristocracy by pointing out that the only reason that they are in their current position is because of the family they were born into. Throughout his discourse, he points out that there are two types of inequalities that exist, natural and unnatural. A natural inequality would be something such as size or strength that gives one person an advantage over another. An unnatural inequality is something such as family privileges or inherited property where a person has an advantage due to the family they were born.
Throughout Rousseau’s discourse, he explains in a scientific manner the progression of natural inequalities leading to unnatural inequalities along with the development of man. During this discussion, Rousseau touches upon three main topics; the purposes of society, the nature of man, and the origin of inequality.
The purpose of society is to allow all individuals to co-exist and help each other out by having...

Find Another Essay On Literary Comparisons of Revolutionary France

La La Ha Essay

762 words - 4 pages two, of the French Revolution because it sparked the latter events. In Mexico, the short term cause occurred on September 16, 1820 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla ran to the local church and rang the church bells to attract a crowd so that he could inspire them to rise against Spain’s oppressive leadership. Like the events at the Bastille in France, Costilla’s action catalyzed the rest of the war. FIND MORE COMPARISONS. The French and Mexican

Karl Marx Essay

1244 words - 5 pages would be overthrown and that it would be eliminated by a worldwide working-class revolution and replaced by a classless society. The Manifesto influenced all subsequent communist literature and revolutionary thought generally; it has been translated into many languages and published in hundreds of millions of copies.In 1848 revolutions occurred in France and Germany, and the Belgian government, fearful that the revolutionary tide would engulf

Comparing the French Revolution and the American Revolution

864 words - 3 pages social turmoil. The idea of Enlightenment stuck a large population of the French people and led to many changes in society. These two individual revolutions have many comparisons and although they are not identical they become intertwined with separate philosophies on politics and economic expansion. The revolutions had a large quantity of ideas in common; however, they were two different countries, in two unlike geographical locations, with

Tale of Two Cities.

2119 words - 8 pages The Proud Tale of EnglandDuring his time, Charles Dickens was concerned that social problems in England, particularly those relating to the condition of the poor, might provoke a mass reaction on the scale of the French Revolution. A Tale of Two Cities opens in 1775, with a comparison of England and pre-revolutionary France. While drawing parallels between the two countries, Dickens also alludes to his own time: "the period was so far like the

Untitled

1593 words - 6 pages Anne Stevenson- Chinua Achebe- (1930- ) Nigeria Novels Things Fall Apart (1958) Ben Okri- (1959- ) Nigeria Novels, Non-Fiction The Famished Road (1991) Anne Stevenson- Chinua Achebe- (1930- ) Nigeria Novels Things Fall Apart (1958) Ben Okri- (1959- ) Nigeria Novels, Non-Fiction The Famished Road (1991) Jean-Paul Sartre (1900-1980) France Novellas, Non-Fiction, Plays, Literary Criticisms Age of Reason (1945) Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861

The Success of One Piece of Revolutionary War Propoganda

2550 words - 11 pages Degree in English from Harvard, and he was well-written in literary analyses. So, a limitation of this book would be that Clark, due to his expertise in subject area, tends to place an undue emphasis on the literary merit of Paine’s writings, as opposed to their revolutionary historical thought in the context of their times.   D. Analysis Thomas Paine’s Common Sense appeared to have motivated the American public to support the revolutionary cause

Legacies Of The France Revolution

2923 words - 12 pages , Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, and Anatole France. These literary treatments kept the people, the events, and the ideas of the Revolution alive for generations. In the twentieth century, the powerful imagery and impact of the Revolution made it an ideal candidate for the cinema. Some of the greatest films in French cinematic history have focused on the revolutionary period. From Abel Gance's Napoleon in 1927 to Andrezj Wajda's Danton in 1984

Essays on Modern Chinese Philosophy

2689 words - 11 pages 1914. There were a total of six phases that the movements leaders had envisioned. These were an attack on Confucianism, a literary revolution, proclaiming a new philosophy, debating science and the philosophy of life, the doubting of antiquity and a debate on Chinese and Western values. The first phase, the attack on Confucianism, was headed by Chen Duxiu. Most of his education took place in China, however, he did study in Japan and France during

The Terror DBQ

591 words - 3 pages France experienced a great change in 1793, When the radical Jacobins became in power. The country was in havoc, and a Reign of Terror developed by local revolutionary committees. Because of this, thousands of people were killed by guillotine or other methods. The Terror was successful in executing the counter-revolutionaries of the French Revolution to no longer conspire against the radicals and reformers, and The Reign of Terror also united

Poetry and Song in the French Revolution

2564 words - 10 pages Revolution that historians can understand the emotional, political, social and philosophical aspects of the Revolution. In order to understand the songs and poetry of revolutionary France it must be understood as to why revolutionaries used this medium of communication. Poetry and songs carry with them an inherent value and accessibility that made it an ideal propagandistic tool to spread revolution. Songs have the unique ability to travel without

Use of Terror in the French Revolution

1092 words - 4 pages the Committee of Public Safety, took control of France and executed king Louis XVI. Robespierre had a vision of a new France where everyone was equal. In order to reach his goal of completely reconstructing France, Robespierre unleashed a campaign of terror. Terror was used to enforce his revolutionary ideas, but the radicalization eventually lead to the downfall of Maximilian Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety. Maximillian

Similar Essays

The Effects Of Inflation And Defaltion In Revolutionary France

2019 words - 8 pages Revolutionary France from 1789 onwards experienced large political and economic upheavals. 1789 marked the beginning of the Revolution over an already crumbling monarchy, in London lay stored away the greater part of the world's stock of gold and silver, and, as after the Seven Years' War nearly every country in Europe had to borrow from London, the basis of European economic structure was changed from wealth to debt. Among these nations France

How Far Did Napoleon Bonaparte Maintain The Revolutionary Ideals Of Liberty And Equality In France?

2528 words - 10 pages Aïsha Atherly November 2006European HistoryHow far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintain the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality in France?Prior to the French Revolution, the system of government was based on Absolute Monarchy which meant that the monarch claimed total authority of the state. They were answerable to no one and their word was law. At that time, the social structure in France was in need of desperate reform. It was divided

French Intervention In The Battle Of Yorktown. Summarize The Course And Conduct Of The Revolutionary War After 1778, And Describe The Key Role Played By France In The Final Victory At Yorktown.

1288 words - 5 pages In 1778, the war over the rebellion in North America became international spreading not only to Europe but to the European colonies chiefly in India. After learning of the American victory in Saratoga, France signed the Treaty of Alliance with the United States on February 6, 1778. Spain entered the war as an ally of France in June 1779; however, initially refused to recognize the independence of the United States. Spain was not keen on

The Golden Thread Essay

997 words - 4 pages Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities is a classic novel that takes place during the French revolution. Lucie Manette is a key character, and without her the plot could not exist. Lucie is often called the ideal Victorian woman; quiet, loving, and submissive. Dickens develops her character through comparisons to the opposite Madame Defarge. The novel is about a man named Charles Darnay who is caught in between France and England during the