Violence In Charles Dickens A Tale Of Two Cities

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In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the senselessness of the French Revolution is shown by the mob’s extensive anger and violence at the storming of the Bastille despite the trivial amount accomplished. By extensively foreshadowing the storming of the Bastille and describing the mob’s acts of violence, Dickens illustrates that the French Revolution was not as noble as its aims made it out to be. Dickens uses multiple symbols to foreshadow the French Revolution: “Château and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well...all of France itself—lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line” (Dickens 217). He also draws attention to the causes of the…show more content…
However, Dickens only points out the French Revolution’s negative qualities. For example, extensive attention is paid to the violent and chaotic nature of the mob at the storming of the Bastille; its footsteps are described as “[headlong], mad, and dangerous” (Dickens 262) and the mob is described as a “sea raging and thundering on its new beach” (Dickens 264). Such descriptions show the irony of the storming, and in turn the French Revolution, as it reveals that the mob is more focused on releasing its anger than true social reform. Indeed, if the mob truly cared about the French Revolution’s supposed aim of better treatment of the lower classes, one would think that it would have at least attempted to create organizations that would alleviate the effects of poverty. However, the mob acts irrationally in its anger, and instead of directly helping others, some of its members kill unassuming officers: “seven dead faces there were, carried higher, seven dead faces, whose drooping eyelids and half-seen eyes awaited the Last Day….seven gory heads on pikes” (Dickens 270). The immense violence of the mob at the storming of the Bastille and its
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