How does Tellson's Bank epitomize English complacency in A Tale of Two Cities?

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Dickens is highly critical of the French Revolution. But he does at least show the intelligence and the sympathy to acknowledge the fact that revolution is largely a reaction to poverty, ignorance, and exploitation. There was certainly plenty of all three in late 18th century England. The country was a potential tinder box of revolution, just waiting for a spark to set it off and bring the whole structure of government and society burning to the ground.

That this didn't happen is no thanks to England's stagnant social and political elite, as represented by Tellson's Bank. The upper classes, like the employees of this ancient financial institution, are completely indifferent to events in the outside world. Steeped in tradition, they instinctively see change, no matter how small or necessary, as a serious threat to the established order.

Yet this stubborn reluctance to move with the times actually makes it more likely, not less, that change will come about and that when...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 498 words.)

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