Analyze the Trial Scene in England

Topics: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, Charles Darnay Pages: 3 (937 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Charles Dickens is a genius of extracting language to express his thought. Charles Darnay’s first trial in London is a view of the London of the times. London was different than Paris, as you'll find out while reading the novel, but in this case it ran a frightening parallel to the other city. In this assignment mainly the first trial scene of Darnay has been focused. The courtroom is our peek at British government; there are lots of talk and lots of running around, but unfortunately, there's actually a whole lot of 'NOT' following the law going on. Darnay's trial could easily be seen as a sham; the poor man is deemed guilty before trial, the lawyers seem to do nothing more than listen to the sounds of their own voices. Old Bailey is described in Chapter 2 as a perfect example of the precept, "Whatever is is right," a direct quotation from Alexander Pope, an eighteenth- century satirist. The phrase is the last line of the first Epistle of his Essay on Man, which Pope wrote to laud man's abilities and the great possibilities of his relationship with God. The first Epistle is mainly concerned with theodicy, that is, explaining why a perfect God would allow suffering in a world of his own creation. The French philosopher Voltaire challenged the optimism of "whatever is is right" in his satire Candide. In his own way, consistent with his self-image as a social crusader, Dickens also finds this optimism unlikely. It seems unforgivable that Old Bailey is allowed to continue in its abuses, despite the fact that it has handed down incorrect and probably unjust sentences. Trials, like the famous madhouse named Bedlam, not only were designed to deal with criminals and the insane, but they also served as entertainment for the general public. Families would go on outings to Old Bailey to jeer at criminals. Dickens strongly critiques this excessive interest in human suffering, illustrating that the only reason for the interest in Mr. Darnay's person is the possibility of his...
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