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Bulwer

Lytton



A Tale of Two Cities is a popular, historic novel set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It was initially published a serial in the weekly entitled All Year Round, from April 30 to November 29, 1859. The novel concentrates on the social and psychological crises more than on a retelling of the actual historical event of the war. Dickens' vision of the Terror encompasses exploitation and neglect of the poor, public bloodshed, and private vengeance. Dickens' source of the French Revolution is undoubtedly Thomas Carlyle's monumental work, The French Revolution. He is also indebted to Bulwer-Lytton's novel Zanoni and Watt Philips' play The Dead Heart, both having the French Revolution as their background. Even though Dickens relied upon other works, his vision and view in A Tale of Two Cities are clearly his own. He expresses his views most clearly when he shows how uncaring the aristocrats were to the plight of common people. But he is able to shift his sympathy away from the mob of French patriot revolutionaries to the plight of the aristocrats and their families. His dislike of the mob is seen in an earlier historical novel, Barnaby Rudge. There a mob storms Newgate Prison, but the authorities are able to quell the violence. This vengeful, bloodthirsty mob that storms the Bastille cannot be restrained. Dickens handles the historic event with maturity. Revolutions have occurred ever since the first oppressed people became tired of their tyrannical rulers. They have been the cry of the downtrodden since the beginning of time, symbolizing hope for a better future. The French Revolution, which occurred from 1789 until 1799, violently transformed France from a country ruled by a monarch with a rigid social hierarchy into a modern nation where the social structure was loosened and power passed increasingly to the middle classes. The weakness of King Louis XVI now is regarded as the crucial factor that started the revolution. For he ignored individual rights, rich and poor alike. During his reign, the ordinary French person was very poor, and food became scarce and expensive. The agricultural recession in 1776 forced property owners to exploit their sources of revenue; but the growing middle class threatened the established landed aristocracy. When the lower classes refused to pay more levies, the royal ministers attempted to levy all landowners.
keep you in grain manorial style,
Better by far to side with him,
So much better by far mile,
And also there will be in future times,
When history tells all its secretive tales,
When people sit down writing nursery rhymes,
When great scholars proclaim over dales,
They will tell of the exploits of the rats,
So wise and so good and so pure,
And your destiny will be as heroes,
And your place in history will be secure,
You will be revered, instead of just feared,
You will be loved instead of hated,
You will be held in esteem, you barely dreamed,
Your reputation newly armour plated.
Then again we could pause and have war,
And all of you would perish no fear,
For the man with the stars has freed me,
And I am too much for what you have here,
You are not foolish or stupid impetuous,
But wise and pragmatic dark,
And to die for nothing is senseless,
Whilst to live on and prosper is smart.
And the King Rat thanked the stars,
He had an inkling of what was to be,
And saw that it was better to barter,
Better to live and to breathe and be free,
So he spoke in a muted whisper so quiet,
Yet all heard his every word on the day,
we rats will follow the man and the bird,
will listen to anything that they would say,
We are not cowards who would shirk a fight,
But there is reason and sense in his tone,
And we will accept the offer grain,
And we will make the castle our home ,
And the rats all trooped off in unison,
Quite pleased they did not have to die,
none doubted they would all have perished,
Who had looked into the stone birds eyes.
And the bird spoke quietly to King Rat,




















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