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Social and Political Change in A Tale of Two Cities

Uploaded by RKsPunkChick823 on Dec 05, 2004

Government has been an essential part to any civilization for as long as human kind has existed. People who disagree with the government have also existed for just as long. Whether the government was so simple that the leader was the strongest in the tribe, or whether the government was so complex that it involved thousands of people to make one decision, it always was challenged and eventually changed. The means of change are quite diverse. Assassination, protests, war, petitions, and others are amongst the large list of means for governmental reform. Revolution has also been a frequent method to try to achieve the desired change. Revolutions have made profound impacts in history, for both the better and for the worse. Charles Dickens is among those who advocates change both socially and politically, but believes revolution is not an efficient means for change. His classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, clearly shows the negative impacts of revolting against the government.

The years in which Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities were much like those which led up to the French Revolution. Everything was great for the people of the upper class, but hunger, disease and poverty plagued the lower class people of London. He became appalled with the social and economic inequality of British society. He felt that there was little he could do to prevent a revolution, much like the one in France, from occurring. Therefore, he wrote this novel to warn the people of London what could happen.

Dickens, who was fascinated with the history of the French Revolution, began by criticizing the treatment (both socially and politically) of the poor people of France. In the seventh chapter of book two, the Monsieur the Marquis had accidentally driven his carriage over a young child, killing him. Instead of worrying about the welfare of the chile, the Monsieur worried about his horses: "One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done to my horses."(p. 116) He deemed the peasants’ lives inferior and insignificant, as shown when he tossed a gold coin to the boy’s father as compensation for his son’s death. The Monsieur the Marquis told his nephew, Darnay, how he felt about the people: "Repression is the only lasting philosophy... fear and slavery, my friend, will keep the dogs...

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Uploaded by:   RKsPunkChick823

Date:   12/05/2004

Category:   A Tale Of Two Cities

Length:   4 pages (808 words)

Views:   3284

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