The Revolution Knows No Humanity

1099 WordsJul 8, 20185 Pages
The French Revolution was a grim and primitive period in history lasting from 1789 to 1799 when the commoners attacked aristocrats because of their selfish and inhumane treatment of the lower class. In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities the storm of the French Revolution is brewing and plots to overthrow the cruel aristocracy are underway. The aristocracy is hated by the commoners of France because of their harsh and abusive behavior towards the poor and their excessive lifestyle that leaves them subject to Hunger and Want. However, within the Revolutionaries’ plans are actions that mirror the aristocrats’ behavior towards them. Dickens’ symbols of the grindstone scene, the blue flies, and the knitting encompass his theme of man’s…show more content…
The flies do not want to watch a happy man, but want to view a dead and suffering man that they can fester around and feed on for their own personal amusement. The blue flies represent inhumanity in A Tale of Two Cities because their feelings towards the prisoner they feed on are cold, inconsiderate, and reflect that all the flies care about is their own sick entertainment. The knitting symbolizes inhumanity because of the cruelty of the consequence of the registry and the passiveness towards another person’s life. Madame Defarge constantly knits a registry of the names of the people the revolutionists want to kill. At the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities Dickens only alludes to the knitting to have a mysterious and murderous plan within the stitches. When the Monseigneur runs Gaspard’s son over with his speeding carriage, Madame Defarge lurks in the background with her knitting. Dickens says, “but the wretched father was groveling on his face on the pavement in that spot, and the figure that stood beside him was a figure of a dark stout woman, knitting” (85). Madame Defarge secretly records this information into her knitting, but the only inhumanity the reader understands at the time is the carelessness of the murderous Monseigneur. The reader does not recognize the inhumanity of mass, prearranged murder. Later in the novel when the spy John Barsad enters
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