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Analysis of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


            Charles Dickens brings life to the French Revolution, in his historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities. His novel envelopes around many unforgettable names as he brings the story of two cities, London and Paris together. Throughout the whole book, Dickens refers to the wine as the blood that runs through the streets of Paris. This passage is from Book the First, Chapter 5, where Dickens introduces Paris and the Defarges for the first time, who eventually become some of the most significant characters of the book. Charles Dickens recreates the gravity of the French Revolution as he uses wine to surface the rising tension among those doomed with poverty. Throughout this passage, he anticipates the French Revolution, throws light upon the people's joy that is bound with despair and illuminates the pit-striking hunger of the people.
             The lower classes of France at the time of the French Revolution were suffering from poverty, starvation and hunger. The people did not have enough food or hardly any to feed themselves and their children. Dickens shows this in many different parts of his book. AS the wine flooded the floor the “men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined,” as if they were praying to their only beam of hope, they finally had something to drink, it was as if they were worshipping the wine for its existence. They were trying to drink it “before the wine had all run out between their fingers” as if they wanted to hold onto their only hope of extinguishing their hunger before it slipped away. (The Wine Shop, 33) The people would have done anything to get a bit of wine for them to drink, or to even taste. This quote really depicts how desperate and needy the commoners were. Dickens further compares their situation as “a scavenger in the street”; showing how their desperation bears parallels to what animals may experience by calling it a “scavenger”; they were trying to get anything they can get their hands on - for survival.