Symbols Of Inhumanity In A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

1083 words - 4 pages

The French Revolution was a chaotic, destructive time. This is clearly illustrated in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In this novel, there are many examples of inhumanity, especially during the revolutionaries’ attacks against anyone who was believed to be treasonous or aristocratic. Men were very cruel to their fellow men, even creating the monstrous guillotine to kill people faster and more efficiently. Charles Dickens portrays such violence from the French Revolution very well with the symbols of the blue-flies, the storm, and red wine.
For example, the blue-flies represent the people’s lust for blood. During Charles Darnay’s first trial, “a buzz arose in the court as if a cloud of great blue-flies were swarming about the prisoner, in anticipation of what he was soon to become” (Dickens 50). When this quote is said, Charles Darnay, a prisoner at the time, is being tried for treason, with a punishment of death. The people seem to gravitate towards the prisoner, just as flies would on a dead body. Not only that, but there is also a “buzzing” in the courtroom, which could represent the spectators’ whispers. After Darnay has been acquitted, it is said that “the crowd came pouring out with a vehemence that nearly took him off his legs, and a loud buzz swept into the street as if the baffled blue-flies were dispersing in search of other carrion” (59). These people are confused, probably because they are disappointed about the prisoner’s sudden acquittal. The use of the word “carrion” enhances the metaphor of the flies; these people are suddenly searching for new victims. Also, the fact that they pour out of the courtroom with vehemence and passion clearly shows their morbid fascination with death.
Secondly, the metaphor of the storm represents the brutality of the war. One example of this is when it is said, “there were other echoes, from a distance, that rumbled menacingly in the corner all through this space of time. And it was now, about little Lucie’s sixth birthday, that they began to have an awful sound, as of a great storm in France with a dreadful sea rising” (164). This metaphor, with the storm slowly but surely building, acts as a type of foreshadowing for the upcoming conflict. Not only that, but also in the quote the phrase “rumbled menacingly” is used; this could be talking about thunder in a storm, illustrating how violent this war would soon be. For instance, the crashes of thunder could be comparable to the blasts of cannons and rifles. This terrifying and brutal conflict, starting with the attack on the Bastille, is clearly illustrated in the novel when the author mentions the crashes that the escaped prisoners hear with this quote: “Hemmed in here by the massive thickness of walls and arches, the storm within the fortress and without was only audible to them in a dull, subdued way, as if the noise out of which they had come had almost destroyed their sense of hearing” (168). The loud noises inside the Bastille,...

Find Another Essay On Symbols of Inhumanity in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

1679 words - 7 pages The era surrounding the French Revolution was a horrifically bloody and violent period of history – the best of times and the worst of times. The violence enacted by the citizens of French on their fellow countrymen set a gruesome scene in the cities and country sides of France. Charles Dickens uses a palate of storm, wine, and blood imagery in A Tale of Two Cities to paint exactly how tremendously brutal this period of time was. Dickens use of

"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.

1458 words - 6 pages A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is an historical fiction novel set in 1775- 1793 in the citiesof Paris and London. The French Revolution serves as the historical backdrop to the story. The reliability and usefulness of A Tale of Two Cities in adding knowledge and understanding of the Reign of Terror in France will be examined.Charles Dickens wrote this book in 1859 in London, sixty years after the key events mentioned

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

1110 words - 4 pages The French Revolution began in 1789, inspired by the American Revolution, which ended a mere 6 years before the French Revolution began. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set during the French Revolution for about half of the novel. Dickens focuses on a theme involving sacrifices made by certain characters right before the French Revolution and during the Revolution using many examples to develop the theme. He developed the theme of

"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.

852 words - 3 pages In Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, the reader is introduced to a variety of characters, each having his own characteristics and qualities. Two of the most important characters are introduced to the reader in Book II of the novel. These characters are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. When the reader is first introduced to these two characters, he has already been told that Darnay and Carton have strikingly similar appearances. The reader

Book Report: "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

1755 words - 7 pages Book EvaluationSetting: "A Tale of Two Cities" is written by Charles Dickens and it takes place in France and England beginning in 1775. It's told in third person until the end when Sydney Carton overtakes the narrator and talks in first person for the last few paragraphs of the novel.Protagonist: Charles Darnay is a young French aristocrat by birth but he chooses to live in England because he hates the French social system. He is virtuous in

"A tale of two cities" by Charles Dickens.

1849 words - 7 pages their children do not and cannot share unconditional love. In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens portrays the ideal of unconditional love between parents and their children when, in fact, it is not a reality.I have always thought of my relationship with my father as a good one until I understood the true role he is supposed to have. My dad has constantly been more like a friend to me than a parent. He, as my father, has an obligation to be nurturing

The significance of Charles Darnay's character in "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

1593 words - 6 pages "A Tale of Two Cities" is one of Charles Dickens' most favoured novels that brings out the spirit of the late eighteen century and the outbreak of the French Revolution. The book opens in the year 1775 by contrasting Paris and London in "the best of times" and "the worst of times" (p. 3). The story shifts from injustice and brutality to sacrifice made in the name of love. The carefully chosen characters show an attitude that either changes under

Revolutionary Images in a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

1694 words - 7 pages are treated inhumanely by the nobles, have become the dehumanizers, after developing just a little power. Throughout the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens uses lavish and brilliant imagery to influence the reader’s attitude towards the peasants during the wine-cask, grindstone, and Carmagnole scenes; however, he is simultaneously developing the theme of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. In each of the aforementioned spectacles, man is

The French Revolution in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles John Huffam Dickens

1208 words - 5 pages Charles John Huffam Dickens was one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the Victorian Period, and his works are still heavily appreciated in present times. Dickens added to his repertoire in 1859 with the publishing of A Tale of Two Cities, a novel centered around the French Revolution. Dickens is well known for generating his themes through critiques on current events and the characters’ actions. For example, in A Tale of Two Cities

This is an Essay about Injustice in "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens.

982 words - 4 pages this as slavery, just cruelty. Obviously slavery is unjust, but some people to this date still do not know this because of the way they were brought up. However, what was once justified can, upon closer examination, be considered unjust. This was also the case during the revolution in France that began in 1789. Charles Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities" described the many injustices that resulted from oppression in France. Injustice during the

"A Tale of Two Cities" Charles Dickens: Foreshadowing the Revolution.

731 words - 3 pages In Charles Dickens', "A Tale of Two Cities", the author continually foreshadows the future revolution. Dickens depicts a Paris crowd, united by their poverty, in a frenzy to gather wine from a wine cask that was shattered. Also, we find a macabre scene in which Madame Defarge sits quietly knitting but we later discover she is knitting a list of victims slated die. Later, the theme of revenge against the nobility becomes apparent after Marquis is

Similar Essays

The Fuel For Inhumanity In Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities

1151 words - 5 pages The French Revolution, beginning in 1789, served as a force for exposing man’s inhumanity to man because of the unjust actions that arose in all aspects of human existence during this time period. Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities examines the extent to which man will travel to achieve what he believes is essential to life. A look into every aspect of this epoch in both France and England reveals the faults that enable man to overlook the

Fate In A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

1109 words - 4 pages Charles Dickens captures the aura of the French Revolution so poetically it is almost as if he was there. Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is a thrilling novel originally printed in the newspaper, explaining the cliffhangers at the end of many a chapter. One of the elements that makes the story so thrilling is his incorporation of the theme of fate. Dickens incorporates innumerable symbols to enforce this theme. The echoing footsteps, the storm

Charles Dickens' A Tale Of Two Cities

1602 words - 6 pages The French Revolution can best be described by Dickens in the opening phrase of his novel A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” (Dickens 1). A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens in 1859, takes place in London and Paris during the French Revolution. The book tells the story of a circle of people living and fighting during this dangerous time. These characters include Dr. Manette, a doctor and

Analysis Of A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

1005 words - 4 pages “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is an artfully crafted tale that unabashedly tells the story of the injustice, the horror and the madness of the French Revolution. More than this, it is a story of one man’s redemption, one man who Dickens vividly portrays as being “a nobody”. This nobody had thrown away his life. “A Tale of Two Cities” is the tale of Sydney Carton and his full circle redemption. The first impression we get of