Power Leading To Corruption In A Tale Of Two Cities

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The novel A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens’ most famous and successful works of fiction. It narrates the lives of a man named Doctor Manette, his daughter Lucie, and her husband Charles Darnay as they experience the French Revolution and overcome hardships. A few scholars believe the novel reinforces the idea that the ruling class is corrupt and the peasantry is innocent. However, Dickens would most likely disagree with this claim. Certain events from the book suggest the book is instead conveying the message that anyone who is either too power-hungry or has too much power will become corrupt.
One obvious example of power leading to corruption is shown from the actions of the aristocrats as they are portrayed in A Tale of Two Cities. When Monsieur the Marquis accidentally hits a young boy with his cart, he says, “One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done to my horses? See! Give him that” (107). He lacks the feeling of guilt for having killed a child, and instead
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As Madame Defarge leads them into rebellion, their footsteps are described as “headlong, mad, and dangerous…not easily made clean again if once stained red” (206). In this scene, the stained footsteps reflects upon their tainted morals, having gotten out of control after starving themselves of rights. Much like the manner in which the aristocrats lost their morality, the peasants lost their humaneness. When the President tells Doctor Manette that he “would doubtless feel a sacred glow and joy in making his daughter a widow and her child an orphan, there was a wild excitement, patriotic fervor, not a touch of human sympathy” (322). The crowd is too overtaken by their thirst for vengeance to care for human lives. Judging from the corruption of the peasants, Dickens would most likely debunk this

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