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The Heart Of The Revolution Essay

1747 words - 7 pages

"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” (Dickens 3). The duality of the revolution is presented in the novel, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, it shows the true nature of the French Revolution and its powerful impact over the citizens, as Lucie and her beloved husband, Charles Darnay, get torn apart by the uprising revolutionaries that only see with vengeance in their eyes. When Darnay travels to Paris to rescue a fellow friend, he is taken away by the revolutionaries and put in prison awaiting his death for being an Evremonde. His only chance of survival lies in the hands of Sydney Carton, in which he must sacrifice himself in order to ensure Lucie’s happiness. Dickens uses symbols to develop the message of the true nature of revolution with the use of blood and wine to paint the theme of the natural inclination of brutality within the revolutionaries, the echoing footsteps to symbolize the ever-present evil that lies beneath everyone, and Carton as the Christ-like figure to prove the perpetual possibility of resurrection.
Throughout the novel there is a ravenous hunger that lies in the hearts of the peasants that reveals the inevitable tendency toward violence and oppression in revolutionaries that is displayed through the symbolic use of blood and wine. In front of the Defarge’s wine shop, a large cask of wine spilt into the streets where “men and women dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads, which were squeezed into infants’ mouths” (28). There is a voracious hunger throughout the peasants that has driven them to complete desperation in which they are deprived of both food and political rights from the aristocrats. The blood and wine traditionally symbolize the life and blood of Christ in Christian beliefs that are portrayed in a positive light, where as in the novel, they represent the rampant death, revenge, and destruction that has taken a hold of the peasants. After the starved peasants have soaked every last drop from the ground, Gaspard “scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-less–BLOOD” (30). This is used to foreshadow the upcoming revolution, and as it begins, there is a frenzy that spreads through the peasants that will lead to a never-ending bloodshed. It provides an example to the aristocrats that a discontent middle class will ultimately lead to a rise in vengeance that can only be sought through revolution and will only get worse as the starvation reaches a new height. As the men and women leave the scene and return back to their work, those who have been “greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth” (29). It demonstrates that once...

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