A Tale of Two Cities

Violence in A Tale of Two Cities

The storming of the Bastille, the death carts with their doomed human cargo, the swift drop of the guillotine blade - this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures in his famous novel, A Tale of Two Cities. With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror and treason, a starving people rising in frenzy and hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. Dickens not only captures the brutality and corruption of this period, but gives insight into what propelled the death and destruction. Through the hostility between the French aristocrats and the peasants, Dickens highlights the principal that violence perpetuates even more violence, until the sinister chain eventually exhausts itself.

The oppression of the French people by the ruling class in the eighteenth century is an infamous time in history. During this time, the aristocrats had no respect for the less fortunate of their nation. Dickens illustrates the aristocratic attitude toward the peasants with Dr. Charles Mannett's account of how one aristocrat treated his servant who failed to answer the door in a pleasing amount of time.

It [the door] was not opened immediately, in answer to the ringing of the bell and one of my two conductors...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 710 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 3978 literature essays, 1365 sample college application essays, 161 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in