Discuss how the first six chapters of A Tale of Two Cities paints a picture of the historical period.
Charles Dickens Is famous for his descriptive style of writing, and this trademark is not left out in A Tale of Two Cities. Each chapter portrays another piece of the everyday lives of people in England and France in the year 1775. This is extremely important because without these vivid Dickensian descriptions the reader could easily project his or her current environment into the setting of the book. Dickens easily portrays the horrible lifestyle that the people of France have become accustomed to as something they must cope with. Though he frequently foreshadows a revolution when the people attempt to rise out of their filth. Throughout the first sex chapters of the book there are many small excerpts such as the one at the beginning of chapter five entitled the Wine Shop. A wine cask breaks and the people lap up the wine from the ground, the gutters, and the puddles, but what the reader comes to realize is that they are drinking from mud puddles and eating mud along with the wine. The people are drinking from the curbs where most dogs use the bathroom. And the people know these things yet they continue to drink the wine and are content. This shows the severe poverty that these people have been brought to, and further informs the reader of the historical setting. Another description that Dickens gives is equally as startling; later in the same chapter describes a staircase leading to the upper room of the wine shop. Dickens describes the stench from the refuse being thrown out onto the steps along with the "intangible impurities" that deprivation and poverty had left in the air, to be so bad that you can almost taste it. Of course sanitary measures are taken these days so that this type of thing would never happen in our day. And this further helps the reader to understand the kind of lives of people who did not have money.