Tale of Two Cities

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Violence and Cruelty Leading to Harsh Rebellion
Throughout the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens constantly uses examples of violence and cruelty to show why the French peasants revolted against the aristocracy and to describe the revolt. During the extant of the peasant’s lives before the rebellion they were treated so brutally by the aristocrats. The wealthy people took great advantage of their power and the poor people. When the peasants rebelled they responded with violence and brutality from the hatred of their hearts.

The suffering the low class people of France endured during the time of this story was more than unbearable. As Dickens describes “Far and wide, lay a ruined country, yielding nothing but desolation. Every green leaf, every blade of grass and blade of grain, was as shriveled and poor as the miserable people. Everything was bowed down, dejected, oppressed and broken.” (Charles Dickens 236) Their living conditions were remarkably small and dirty. France was a “crumbling tower of waste, mismanagement, extortion, debt, mortgage, oppression, hunger, nakedness and suffering.” (Dickens 130)

The wealthy aristocrats had more money than they needed. There was always an unnecessary tax put on the peasants to take what little they had. The monsignors of the time did things that were completely absurd with their money. “It took four men … to conduct the happy chocolate to the Monsignor’s lips.”(Dickens 108) The Marquis Evermonde never cared for the peasants; in fact he believed that “Repression is the only lasting Philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery… will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof… shuts out the sky” Dickens 128). He thought that by showing the lower class that they were subservient to him he was proving himself worthy of his title. In reality he was making their hatred grow stronger and stronger toward him. When a poor woman in need approached him by saying “Monseignor, hear me! Monseigneur,...
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