Tale of Two Cities Essay

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A change can be noticed and identified by other changes. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses symbolism, allusions, and foreshadowing to convey his attitude towards the French Revolution while also heightening the suspense of the upcoming turmoil.

Symbolism is used in A Tale of Two Cities to convey Charles Dickens’ attitude towards the upcoming revolution. Charles uses the sea as a symbol for the social unrest of the people of France, “the sea did what it liked and what it liked was destruction.”(22) The sea is used here as a representation of the rising French Revolution that was not only affecting France, but England as well, marking the start of rebellious actions that began to creep their way into the people’s minds. Though the signs of revolt are everywhere, Dickens gives Lucie Manette a look of hope and compassion in the dark world showing the women’s role of gaining trust and raising spirits for the ones involved in the Revolution. Charles Dickens uses the spilt wine outside of Monsieur and Madame Defarge’s wine shop to symbolize the blood that is going to be spilt during the revolution when a, “large cask of wine,” was, “dropped and broken.”(32) The wine running through the streets is being used to symbolize the blood that is soon going to be running through the same streets during the Revolution. The fact that it was outside of Madame Defarge’s wine shop symbolizes the blood that is spilt around her throughout the remainder of the book.

Allusions are also used in this novel to convey Charles Dickens’ attitude towards the women in the French revolution. Madame Defarge is used as an allusion to The Fates from Greek mythology as she knit’s the names of the people she wants dead such as, “John,” the name she was, “deftly knitting.”(187) As Madame Defarge knit’s the names of her enemies she is effectively sealing their deadly fate. Though the women had little political intervention, they made themselves important in their own way,...
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