The Historical Context of A Tale of Two Cities

2575 WordsJul 17, 201811 Pages
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is a story set in the year 1775 and through the turbulent time of the French Revolution. It is of people living in love and betrayal, murder and joy, peril and safety, hate and fondness, misery and happiness, gentle actions and ferocious crowds. The novel surrounds a drunken man, Sydney Carton, who performs a heroic deed for his beloved, Lucie Manette, while Monsieur and Madame Defarge, ruthless revolutionaries, seek revenge against the nobles of France. Research suggests that through Dickens’ portrayal of the revolutionaries and nobles of the war, he gives accurate insight to the era of the Revolution. Charles Dickens is a talented author who wrote many notable novels, including A Tale of…show more content…
Out of fear that Doctor Manette would report their crimes, they assured he would be imprisoned. As punishment for Darnay’s relatives’ wrongdoings he was sentenced to execution. In the end, the heroic Sydney Carton, who still had deep feelings for Lucie Manette, secretly stepped in for her husband, because of their astonishing similarities, and ultimately died for her sake. France’s relationship between the poor and the rich was gradually plummeting, leading to Revolution. Marshall B. Davidson reasons that France was bankrupt with “stupendous cost of those military ventures piled in the expenses of building and maintaining Versailles, and the king’s other palaces” (99). Conditions worsened because the expenses “were imposed largely on the poorer elements of the population, who were further afflicted…when famine ravaged the land” (Davidson 99-100). In The Coming of the French Revolution, Lefebrve asserts that the poor made up “at least three quarters of the population” making their financial issues severe (131). William Doyle adds the greedy aristocrats “clung to their exemption and privileges and used their political power to prevent the king from making necessary reforms” to save the country from their financial plight (8). France’s monarchy was weak and unorganized making its power over the French people, including the aristocrats, ineffective (Doyle 52). Additionally, a new social
Open Document