Anatole France's "The Gods Will Have Blood- is set in the late era of the French Revolution. The story gives accounts of the attitude and events or the era. There is hunger within the villages and political unrest. Clergy, nobles, and aristocrats are overthrown by people of the Republic and any opposition to the Republic or loyalty to monarchs is punishable by death. It is this Republic ideal that provokes the accusations of conspiracy and mass executions also known as the Reign of Terror.
The main character of the story, Évariste Gamelin, is an example of a person who was so influenced by the ideas and events of the French Revolution that he took on a hatred for anyone who was suspected of sympathizing with monarchs. When he was given the job as a magistrate he took advantage of his power and used it to murder any suspects. He even went so far as to execute Revolutionary leader, Robespierre for being too moderate, and even the woman who had helped him obtain his position as magistrate, Citizeness Rochemaure.
The limits of reason are portrayed in Gamelin's patriotic ignorance and inability to show compassion to suspects of treason of the Revolution. Most of the people sent to trial for conspiracy or royalist support was almost always executed. Also, the smallest suspicion of treason would provoke investigation by the Committee of General Safety. Anatole France illustrates the fear of some French people from the Committee in the episode of the young prostitute trying to escape with Brotteaux. "Take me with you, citizen, for pity's sake!. They were coming for me: they want me to put me in prison and put me to death - (p.161) The reason they were looking for the young girl was because she was reported saying a royalist statement "Vive le Roi!- .
Anatole also demonstrates the bias towards men of religion. In a chapter involving a priest being accused of stealing a woman's purse, an angry mob wants to hang the priest in the thought of preserving the ideas of the Revolution.