Last Updated 15 Oct 2020

The Social Injustice in the Novel A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities is not just about the struggles of Paris and London, during the time of the French Revolution. It is also about the social injustice and the struggle for class vengeance. One character, Madame Defarge, is tied into all of this. This stern, bitter woman has a loathing monster in her soul. Towards the end of the book, the reader discovers why she is so resentful of the upper class. Nevertheless, in the beginning of the book the reader ascertains that Dickens takes a side; he considers the rebels little better than savages.Dickens frequently makes the connection that the anarchy of the mob in France could also occur in England. For example, at Rodger Cly's funeral, the mob raids shops and sets fire to various objects. Dickens subtly points out how this is also happening in France during the French Revolution, except in France it is at a much higher scale. When this was written, in 1859, Charles Dickens tries to warn England not to allow the chaos of France to come to England. Even though Dickens says the mob is wrong, he maintain that the uppercases treated the lower class as human at their disposal.

The story of the Marquis' murder of Madame Defarge's brother and the rape of her sister describes how the aristocrats maltreated the peasants and how that is past of the struggle for justice. On a smaller scale, the killing of Gaspard's boy is yet again a social injustice to the commoners of France. The Marquis St. Evremonde has once more killed an innocent victim. The aristocrats have brought much pain, mental and physical, to the revolutionaries. Dickens, to show how cruel the aristocrats had been, has Monsiegneur momentarily stop and give the father a coin for the loss of his son.

The working class of France was abused and demanded vengeance. But soon, paradoxically, the commoners are in charge. Social injustice again spreads, like a disease, to everyone. The tables are turned and now the criminals are the jailers and the jailers are the criminals. Even the innocent workers of the aristocrats are imprisoned. The lower class goes so far with vengeance that they lose sight of the main goal, to stopping injustice. Again the innocent are victimized, such as the poor woman behind Sydney Carton on his way to the La Guillotine.

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Furthermore, even those who disavow their family are punished. This is the situation of Charles Darnay who is being punished for his family crimes. Soon it is the aristocrats who are dealing with a class struggle of their own. At a glance, A Tale of Two Cities shows the struggles of two cities during this stressful time period, but if the reader looks closer they can see that it is truly about the class struggle and the vengeance of repressed people in London and Paris.

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The Social Injustice in the Novel A Tale of Two Cities. (2017, Mar 25). Retrieved from

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