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A Tale of Two Cities

 

(Essay #3)
 
Charles Dickens has been acclaimed as one of the foremost
satirists of the nineteenth century. In his novel A Tale of
Two Cities Dickens finds fault with the social structure of
the society. A few of these social problems are the
difference between the classes, the lunacy of the
revolution, and the judicial system in effect as this time.
The first of the faults in the social structure of the
society is the difference between the classes. It is not
just the difference between the poor and rich but also
between the rich and the royalty. While Monsieur the
Marquis is driving through St. Antoine, he runs over a
child. All he does is toss a few gold coins out to the
father and drives away. This is showing that all the
aristocracy cares about is money. Another place in the
novel where Dickens shows the difference between the
classes is when the Monseigneur is having his chocolate
while everyone is waiting to speak with him. When he is
done with his chocolate all he does is walk out and brushes
past everyone else as if they are not there. This shows
that all the higher aristocracy cares about is themselves.
Another fault the Dickens points out about the social
structure in the society is the lunacy associated with the
revolution. The way the people of St. Antoine get crazy
from being in such a violent situation is the fault that is
being described here. When the wood-sawyer starts talking
about his saw as "his little guillotine" it shows that he
is affected and is a "typical revolutionary", with a cruel
regard for life. Another place where Dickens describes this
revolution lunacy is when the crowd of "five thousand
demons" come around the corner "dancing" to the Carmagnole,
the song of the revolution. This shows that everyone who
has a part in the revolution has become like one, a large
mass of mindless people who only have death on their minds.
The third fault that Dickens wants to point out in the
novel is the way the judicial system is corrupt. Throughout
the novel Dickens mentions that any of the aristocracy
could have put any person in prison just by "making a
call." This shows that there was no system of balances to
keep order in the courts. Another way Dickens shows the
faults in the judicial system is when Madame Defarge wants
to kill not just Charles Darnay, but his entire family.
This shows that during the revolution the judicial system
was changed, to suit the common people, but the mentality
remained the same. Because of these faults, Dickens shows
that nothing is perfect, not even after the revolution does
anything really change. These are not the only faults of
the social structure of the society, but there are many
more that show Dickens' ridicule for this society. 

 




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