A Tale Of Two Cities Essay

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Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in order to enlighten the average Briton about the events of the French Revolution. The novel compares and contrasts cities of London and Paris, which represent French and British society, through the eyes of Dickens’ human characters. The two cities play such a large part in the novel that they become characters themselves, and the contrasting societies of the two cities become a conflict. In Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities, the individualistic society of London champions the first feudalistic and later socialistic society of Paris. Dickens writes this novel without bias; he makes that clear in the first chapter, “In England, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection…show more content…
The elites treat the people with less respect than their dogs. Doctor Manette’s prison account clearly demonstrates the class gap, “The speaker [the Marquis] seemed to acknowledge that it was inconvenient to have that different order of creature [the peasant] dying there, and that it would have been better if he died in the usual obscure routine of his vermin kind” (Dickens 329). Not only is there an extreme difference in lifestyle, but the upper class also treats the lower class with extreme disdain. The treatment of the people at the hands of their “betters” and the class gap catalyzes the French Revolution. The first conflict between the two cities occurs during Dr. Manette’s imprisonment. Lucie’s secret escape to London by Mr. Lorry and Charles Darnay’s parallel refusal to accept his inheritance in France represent the victory of London’s individualist society over the unjust, feudalistic society of Paris. Post-revolutionary Paris should be an entirely different society than pre-revolutionary Paris. In many ways it is, but the result remains the same: the innocent man is still “proven” guilty. The common people have the power now, but that power does not result in good reasoning. In the socialistic society of Paris, there are two ways to rule. In the first way, the people rule themselves with a mob-like mentality. In the second a ruling elite rises to the top by taking a populist approach and manipulating the people. A

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