What is the approach of Dickens to revolution in A Tale of Two Cities?  

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dickens approaches revolution from all angles in this book.  First of all, he opens by suggesting that revolution in England is possible if there is no change, because the same inequities and social unrest found in France are brewing in England.  So he does seem to be suggesting that revolution is a result of an abusive class system.

It is interesting that although Dickens seems to support the premise of inevitable rebellion, he also does not cast the actual revolutionaries in a sympathetic light.  The Manette family is victim to a series of cruel, vengeful characters.  The Defarges are terrible people, usually presented as dark and menacing and not at all flattering, especially Madame Defarge.  When Lucie witnesses the carmagnole dance, she is utterly horrified and the everyday people taking part are not cast in a positive light either.

So it seems as though Dickens approaches revolutions as something to be avoided at all costs.  Perhaps people paid heed to his warning, because the American Revolution was not repeated in England.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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