Through criticism toward cruel rule of aristocrats and bloody revolution of people and praise humanity, A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens demonstrates his humanistic thinking perfectly. Main figures’ experiences and analysis of their characters is an important aspect to understand the theme this novel reveals. Key words:
Dickens A Tale of Two Cities Humanism Humanity
Humanism is an important subject in Charles Dickens’ works. Among his many famous works, A Tale of Two Cities is the most outstanding one which vividly expresses the author’s humanistic thinking. A Tale of Two Cities, based on the background of the French Revolution, shows brutal social reality and sharp conflicts between classes in France and England at that time. And through encounters of main figures and analysis of their characters, it reveals the author’s humanistic thinking in different aspects.
1. Criticism toward violence
Dickens opposes violence no matter it is ruthless rule of aristocrats or violent revolution of working class. Monseigheur Euremonde is a cruel nobleman. In order to get Madame Defarge’s beautiful sister, he seized her husband and tortured him to death, and killed her brother. Then extremely anger made her father die. Finally, the young Miss Defarge committed suicide because of humiliation and sorrow, and only Madame Defarge escaped by luck. When the majority of people struggled in exceeding poverty，Euremonde still exploited and oppressed them ,and lived a quite extravagant life. Euremonde is a representative of the whole ruling class. His ruthless behavior is also theirs. The death of the Monseigheur reflects the author’s sympathy toward people like the Defarge family and his anger and hate toward the ruling class represented by Euremonde brothers. “Evil will be punished” embodies the author’s humanistic thinking. Madame Defarge, the only survivor of her family, cradled deep hostility toward the Euremonde family and the whole aristocracy. But...
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