The Use of Mobs in “a Tale of Two Cities”

1493 Words Oct 18th, 2011 6 Pages
The nature of mobs is a significant theme in “A Tale of Two Cities.” In both the movie and the book, mobs are portrayed as powerful. Mobs are made up of many people with the same thoughts and motives. Mobs can also be very destructive for that same reason. Dickens uses the mob mentality to depict the bloody horror and the ultimate success of the French Revolution. In the book, Dickens portrays the people as having the hatred necessary for mob violence. Immediately, the book shows us an example how such hatred was created. When a youth’s hands were chopped off, “tongue torn out with pincers” and “his body burned alive” it shows the violence and torture that led to the French revolution. The youth represents the weak in French society …show more content…
He describes the women as "a sight to chill the boldest" as they “lashed into blind frenzy, whirled about, striking and tearing at their own friends until they dropped into a passionate swoon.” Madame Defarge’s behavior is especially disturbing, for she is the one woman who seems to remain calm. She watches Foulon "silently and composedly" beg for mercy. Her behavior portrays her as heartless, and shows her potential for cruelty, preparing us for her ruthlessness at Darnay’s trial. However, this scene is not included in the movie. In the book, at the first trial Charles Darnay is tried and proven innocent, and the mob cheers him and praises the justice of the ruling. Yet later at the second trial when he is proven guilty, the crowd roars with delight and wants to see him die. As Dickens says, “A life-thirsting, cannibal-looking, bloody-minded juryman, gave great satisfaction to the spectators” . The crowd had no true reason to dislike Darnay, and their only reason is because they wants more blood. When one is in a mob, he does not care about the person who is being killed, but he only wants to see blood. Similar to people losing their identity when they become part of the mob, the change of the crowds mood at Darnay’s trials shows how members of the mob can lose the sense of compassion as well. In the movie, when Charles Darney is arrested for the second time and put on trial in France he is tried and

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