Symbolism of Alcohol in A Tale of Two Cities

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The repetition of a motif creates an atmosphere of foreboding vulnerability, intrigue, suspense, and horror in A Tale of Two Cities. The theme of liquor establishes the lingering effect that an appalling event is going to transpire due to foreshadowing. Wine is used both as sustenance and as a symbol of blood. Throughout A Tale of Two Cities wine is paralleled to blood in order to portray the reason why the peasants started an uprising against the elite of the French government to gain equality and fairness. In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses alcohol to underscore the difference in status between the rich and the poor in France. For the nouveau riche or members of the upper class to subsist “It took four men, all four a-blaze …show more content…
The beggars’ inclination for the commodities of the nobles and the anaphora of wine in the story foreshadows the revolution of the peasants against the French government, which was composed of high-ranked officials. In the crowded, hectic street of Saint Antoine after the shattering of a wine barrel in chapter 5 of book 1, a peasant with a tainted expression “…scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine lees- BLOOD, so the time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones” (Dickens, 32). The writing on the wall by Gaspard prefigures that a gruesome revolt lead by people of lower rank, especially Defarge, will occur. Being treated unfairly, the commoners eventually decide to take control of the French authority and rule the country to improve the living conditions and equality. The red wine. Once this turmoil has begun, there will be no return since the peasants have already caused bloodshed that will be marked indelibly on their hands. Therefore, Dickens uses red wine as a metaphor to blood to foretell the ruthless killing of numerous rich people by citizens of lower status in order to institute justice in society. As the novel continues, red wine has become pedestrian and belongs to the deprived people, because the poor have usurped the power of France by initiating the start of the French…

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