In the first paragraph of "A Tale of Two Cities," Chapter 15, Book 3, in what ways is this statement true for Sydney Carton's country?" ALONG THE PARIS STREETS, the death-carts rumble, hollow and...

In the first paragraph of "A Tale of Two Cities," Chapter 15, Book 3, in what ways is this statement true for Sydney Carton's country?

"

ALONG THE PARIS STREETS, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day's wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in the one realisation, Guillotine. And yet there is not in France, with its rich variety of soil and climate, a blade, a leaf, a root, a sprig, a peppercorn, which will grow to maturity under conditions more certain than those that have produced this horror. Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind." (Chapter 15-The Footsteps Die Out Forever)

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Having read Thomas Carlysle's The French Revolution:  A History, Charles Dickens, like others, felt that conditions were ripe in his own country of England for an uprising of the lower classes.  In fact, his opening chapter draws several parallels between France and England as he writes of the similarities of the rulers of both countries: 

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a lain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face on the throne of France.

Likewise, Dickens writes of the lawlessness of both countries. And, with the justice systems,  Dickens clearly draws parallels between the capriciousness of the courts that hear Darnay's treason trials in both countries.  Also, as a social reformer, Dickens firmly believed that the poor of England, and especially London, whose work conditions were horrible, might rebel against their subjugation in society, which itself Dickens considered a prison.

 

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