The Use of Language in A Tale of Two Cities Essay

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Referring closely to the

Referring closely to the use of language, show how Charles Dickens examines the tragic consequences of unruly behaviour in Chapter Twenty
One of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. How does he bring out the dramatic tension? ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ set partly in the Saint Antoine region in the midst of the deadly and brutal French Revolution and partly in the dull and monotonous Restoration Period in England seems to be tale of warning and of social justice. Dickens, born in 1812, held the equality of all social classes close to his heart: lack of funds drove
Dickens to work in a blacking factory at the tender age of twelve as well as seeing his father to prison. His intentions of writing ‘A Tale of Two Cities’
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Charles Dickens is likely to have aimed ‘A Tale of
Two Cities’ at a more middle than lower class audience, this would have been mainly because they would have been educated therefore able to read and would be able to afford books. Furthermore, middle and upper classes also would be in more positions of power and thus able to preclude the possibility of a resolution of the problems facing
Britain.

Dickens has used a variety of linguistic techniques to create tension and convey a poignant social message in chapter twenty-one of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. Throughout the entire chapter, the word “footsteps” is repeated many times. This choice of words has a strong effect on the reader: it firstly creates an eerie and haunting image in the mind of the reader, which helps to convey the tense atmosphere of chapter twenty-one. Furthermore, the word connotes a sense of anonymity between the mob, which successfully disguises their identity. This word could also be interpreted as Dickens attempting to communicate his warning that a revolution could be on its way by personifying it as footsteps in the distance, drawing nearer; they are almost echoes of the French Revolution. Another image that that Dickens uses to represent the tension in Revolutionary France and the effect of mob mentality is the quotation “Light of Day”. It could be interpreted as a metaphor for the freedom of the peasants from the

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