Tale Of Two Cities Realism Analysis

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The story is narrated over three books and at three different and distinct point in time mainly before the revolution period (1775), the revolution (1789) and the post revolution. Dickens in the first part of the book makes use of foreshadowing to gives the reader tips about what is to happen later. One famous example is the wine casket incident (Book 1 Chapter 5) with the wine spilled on the road in front of the Defarge is clearly a signed of the coming bloody massacre by the revolutionaries in which the Defarge played a major role. The symbol of ‘Echoing footsteps’ and reference to ‘Hundreds of people’ symbolises the ‘commotion and the people stampeding into France’ (Cindy Wu, 2011). Furthermore the episode of the first trial of Darnay where…show more content…
Realism is describe as the ‘complete clarity so as to maximise the information flow, and therefore the author must keep the interventions of narrator and narratee (the fictional audience) down to the minimum’ (Herman, 1996). John Lye (2008) argues that ‘In Realism the details of environment, of motivation, of circumstance, and of temporality with its cause and effect, become the context for the exploration of human values and fate’. In the story, the concept of realism is seen as a progressive live concept; ‘The novel starts with the rebirth of the Dr. Manette to the life after eighteen years and respectively the marriage of Lucie to Darnay, the outbreak of the French Revolution, execution of Sidney Carton at the end … can be seen that the real circumstances of life are given such as birth, marriage and death’ (Academia, 2015). Furthermore the setting and context Dickens uses in his book also contribute to the realism of the story. Jean Jaurés (1901) describes the situation before the French Revolution as; ‘There was not one action in rural life that did not require the peasants to pay a ransom… Feudal rights thus extended their clutches over every force of nature, everything that grew, moved, breathed […] even over the fire burning in the oven to bake the peasant’s…show more content…
In 1775, the poor was indeed poor and the way they were treated didn’t help but only deepen their hatred towards the nobles. The latter continued to live in great opulence while the peasants and their children were dying of hunger and cold on the streets of Paris. In 1789, no longer able to ignore this thirst for revenge, the revolutionaries together with the populace like the flood and fire with ‘echoing footsteps’ submerged the streets of Paris and subjugated the Bastille. ‘By claiming the fortress on behalf of the revolution, they sent a powerful message to the forces of old wealth that still dominated the kingdom — the upheaval in France would not be a simple legislative reorganization, but rather a social revolution (Jacobin, 2015).’ Again as a core realism feature of the novel, Dickens depicts the reunion held by the Defarge as those performed by the ‘sans-culottes’ while making reference to characters named Jacques which was a code name used by revolutionaries. Furthermore, A Tale of Two Cities bears the trace of the Reign of Terror, which is represented by the guillotine deepening the true nature of vengeance that existed during French Revolution

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