The Scarlet Pimpernel

Why does the Novel open with the scene at the Barricades of the city Paris?

just a short paragraph please its for a school assigment :)

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Orczy plunges us into the throes of the French revolution, as "a surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name," gathers at Paris' West Barricade. During the day, these masses watch hundreds of aristocrats lose their heads at the guillotine, condemned as 'traitors' to France. In the afternoon, they gather at the gates of the city to watch the daily attempts of the aristocrats to evade Sargent Bibot. This plunges the reader straight into the horrors of the French Revolution. Once we are used to the setting the author lets us know that our sympathies are going to be for the helpless aristocrats rather than the masses. THis helps orient the reader for what is to come.