After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England.
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. This hunger is both the literal hunger for food—the French peasants were starving in their poverty—and the metaphorical hunger for political freedoms.
On the surface, the scene shows the peasants in their desperation to satiate the first of these hungers.
But it also evokes the violent measures that the peasants take in striving to satisfy their more metaphorical cravings. Indeed, the blood of aristocrats later spills at the hands of a mob in these same streets.
Throughout the novel, Dickens sharply criticizes this mob mentality, which he condemns for perpetrating the very cruelty and oppression from which the revolutionaries hope to free themselves.
The mindless frenzy with which these peasants scoop up the fallen liquid prefigures the scene at the grindstone, where the revolutionaries sharpen their weapons Book the Third, Chapter 2as well as the dancing of the macabre Carmagnole Book the Third, Chapter 5. Into her needlework she stitches a registry, or list of names, of all those condemned to die in the name of a new republic.
But on a metaphoric level, the knitting constitutes a symbol in itself, representing the stealthy, cold-blooded vengefulness of the revolutionaries.
As Madame Defarge sits quietly knitting, she appears harmless and quaint. In fact, however, she sentences her victims to death.
Similarly, the French peasants may appear simple and humble figures, but they eventually rise up to massacre their oppressors. The Fates, three sisters who control human life, busy themselves with the tasks of weavers or seamstresses: He is completely indifferent to the lives of the peasants whom he exploits, as evidenced by his lack of sympathy for the father of the child whom his carriage tramples to death.
As such, the Marquis stands as a symbol of the ruthless aristocratic cruelty that the French Revolution seeks to overcome.A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is a story set in the year and through the turbulent time of the French Revolution.
It is of people living in love and betrayal, murder and joy, peril and safety, hate and fondness, misery and happiness, gentle actions and ferocious crowds.
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Symbols of Inhumanity in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Essay The French Revolution was a chaotic, destructive time. This is clearly illustrated in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. A summary of Symbols in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.
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