A Tale of Two Cities

Pollution of Power in A Tale of Two Cities 10th Grade

From even the beginning of civilization, social hierarchy molded the formation and development of society. Whether it be the power of a single monarch or that of a democratic board of officials, authority always induces change in both the lives of those under rule and even the life of the one in power. Charles Dickens’ timeless novel A Tale of Two Cities follows the conspiracies buried in the heart of the French Revolution, between Paris and London. Centered on the cast of the Manettes, Evremondes, and those touched by either the kind hand of the former or the wicked hand of the latter, the classic tale is one of undeniable love and sacrifice amid a raging revolution. Although Dickens sets the scene with government corruption and power-hungry nobles as the cause of immense social upheaval, the Marquis, Madame Defarge, and Charles Darnay also fell into the wrath of power and its consequences. As portrayed in A Tale of Two Cities, the idea that even the most upright individuals are tainted and warped by authority prevails as a horrifying, yet realistic truth.

Firstly, the characterization and actions of the Marquis serve as a classic example of how power corrupts one’s moral identity. In “Monseigneur in Town,” Marquis Evremonde...

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