A Tale of Two Cities

Wine Symbolism in A Tale of Two Cities 11th Grade

Tumbling out of the cart, clashing into the dark grey stone, the cask explodes over the pavement, its contents seeping into the jagged cracks of the street. Perplexed by the event, the people watch intently before hastily running towards the broken barrel and sipping up the red liquid, where they resort to using mutilated earthenware and handkerchiefs to soak up every last drop. The liquid finally gone, the people calmly trudge onward towards their daily tasks, indifferent to the recent demonstration.

In the events above, the spillage of the wine brings out the carnal nature of the people, causing them to abandon their daily tasks to drink the wine, treating it like a giver of life. Thus, the liquid embodies the dangerous nature of hope to those entrapped by desperation. In Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities, the wine serves as a symbolic image of blood and violence, foreshadowing the brutal acts of the revolutionaries. Throughout the novel, Dickens establishes a parallel between wine and blood, the imagery of both illustrating the revolutionaries’ violent nature. Dickens accomplishes this through the people’s savage response to the wine that spills in the streets.

For instance, the author describes the wine in comparison to...

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