Asst. Prof. Dr. Emine ?entürk
IDE: 209 Academic Writing and Research Techniques I
15 November 2017
Judgement in Charles Dickens’s ” A The Tale Of Two Cities”
Charles Dickens expresses the novel by identifying inequality and the harsh condition of the society. Having experiences in a community is not free from problems. There have been many issues so far today and they always present in the society. Injustice is one of the big issues that exist in the world. In the real life injustice can be seen in a society, the injustice varies such as the political injustice, economical injustice and social injustice. Social injustice is one of the big issues that exist in the world. The problem of the social injustice is phenomena of life that struggles with condition of the society that perceived unfairness or the situation that peoples do not getting their right. An author, in his works can put forward a portrait of social, politic and economy during a particular time. When the literary work point outs a reflection or portrait, the characters in a fiction often indicated or reflect the presence of the similar social attitude to that in the society during their time.
Charles Dickens illustrates both of these types of justice properly in his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. Dickens, who had great sympathy for poor people, having known great poverty himself as a child, was naturally drawn towards the French Revolution , as a subject for a novel. In this novel he depicts with tremendous power and realism the sufferings of the poor,and the way in which aristocrats oppressed and abused them. He shows, with great insight, how ordinary men and women were driven by their suffering to become ruthless murderers of the aristocracy.
Richard Altick points out that Chartism virtually came to an end in 1848, and summarises the socio-political condition of England in the following years as follows:
As throne after throne was … overturned on the Continent, England’s remained secure .… Now, finally, even those most fearful of a proletarian takeover began to concede that it probably would not happen here …. The clinching proof came three years laterin 1851, when throngs of workingmen and their families, among them many erstwhile Chartists, poured into London to see the Crystal Palace. Despite predictions of rampant crime and disorder, nothing untoward happened; “the people” … proved to be orderly, sober, and good-humoured—anything but revolution-minded (94)
A Tale of Two Cities is a part of historical novel , the background of the novel is French Revolution. This novel expresses aspect of major historical event the French Revolution the story focused on the effect of political revolt more than on character development. A Tale of Two Cities interrelated to the class endeavor because those who feel the unfavorable effects of social injustice start to struggle against it. Dickens provides a complex perspective on the French Revolution because although he did not particularly sympathize with the terrible and often illogical results, he definitely sympathized with the restlessness of the lower orders of society. Dickens illustrates the aristocratic misusage of the lower classes. Because the conditions in France was so horrible, Dickens describes the condition of the working class in England as rather difficult. There is the componentof the individual as well as the group seeking equation as the book goes through the rebellious times of the French Revolution. The French Revolution justly is the axis to which the justice in the book takes place. The peasants are in their stationary struggle to strike down the French government and seek the Guillotine as a measure of compensation.
According to the historian Eric Hobsbawm, British people have generally tended to associate the French Revolution with the atrocities committed during the Terror only:
In Britain…. this was the image of the Revolution that came closest to entering public consciousness, thanks to Carlyle and Dickens’s (Carlyle-inspired) A Tale of Two Cities, followed by pop-literary epigones like Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel: the knock of the guillotine’s blades, the sansculotte women knitting impassively as they watched the counterrevolutionary heads fall. Simon Schama’s Citizens, the 1989 bestseller written for the English-language market by an expatriate British historian, suggests that this popular image is still very much alive. (5)
Throughout the novel A Tale of Two Cities fairness, equality were served. Their movements might have been a little violent, because of the fact that the only fair punishment at the time of the Revolution was death. Madame Defarge is also making an effort to obtain justice throughout the novel. We find out at end of the novel that she is the missing little sister of the brother and sister that the Evrémonde brothers murdered. This is the reason why she is determined to get revenge on Darnay the son of one of the brothers. Her stubbornness in finding the rest of the race is evident when she says,”Tell wind and fire where to stop; not me!”(Dickens 312) The idea that she is more irrepressible than the unavoidable elements is a scary thought,and shows the depth to which she seeks this justice. The nature of justice as represented in the novel shows how justice can take many forms. This demonstrates that the idea of justice has changed throughout time, however, the fundamental aspects have remained the same, and the ultimate objective is to get back what you think is right and just.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004.
Altick, Richard. Victorian People and Ideas: A Companion for the Modern Reader of Victorian Literature. New York: Norton, 1973
Hobsbawm, E. J. Echoes of the Marseillaise: Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution. London: Verso, 1990.