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A Tale Of Two Cities Final Assignment

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Grace H

on 2 June 2013

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Transcript of A Tale Of Two Cities Final Assignment

A Tale of Two Cities Summary Historical Period Historical Period (Continued) "A Tale of Two Cities" opens on the Dover Mail in England where Mr. Jarvis Lorry, a banker, is on his way to meet Miss. Mannette and give her the news that he has found her father. The two journey to Paris where they find Dr. Mannette frantically making shoes in the upper room of a wine shop owned by the Defarges, both zealous revolutionaries. Dr. Mannette becomes sane again after time spent with his daughter, after which they return to London and attend the trial of Charles Darnay who is found innocent. While in London, Miss. Mannette has many admirers including the boorish Mr. Stryver, a lawyer, and Sydney Carton, a troubled soul deeply in love with Miss. Mannette; however she marries Darnay and they have a daughter.

Then there is the storming of the Bastille led by the Defarges and the three Jaques, including the mender of roads who watched a child be killed by the carriage of a french aristocrat who is Darnay's uncle. Soon after, the Mannettes, Mr. Lorry, Ms. Pross (the governess/housekeeper) and Darnay journey to Paris where Darnay is promptly imprisoned for being an emigrant. Dr. Mannette helps him be released by flaunting his status as a prisoner of the Bastille, but Charles is captured and sentenced to death on the charges of being an aristocrat, proof of which was found in a narrative Dr. Mannette left in prison about an aristocrat stabbing a peasant boy and leaving him for dead.

The the Defarges think that they have won, because they believe that they have the Mannettes cornered, but then Sydney Carton appears with a plan to switch places with Darnay with the help of Mr. Lorry, Dr. Mannette, and an unwilling spy. In the "final battle" of sorts, Ms. Pross kills Madame Defarge in the effort to conceal the fact that the Mannettes and Lorry had escaped from Paris, and the plan to set Charles free worked perfectly. That day, 52 heads rolled as planned, but one did not belong to the prisoner they thought it did. During the French Revolution, Paris was a very slowly evolving city that still had its medieval layout and narrow cobblestone streets. On days when there were mass executions on the guillotine, the streets would be bloody from the footprints of the spectators who would run forward to try and catch blood on their handkerchief as a souvenir. The streets were cobblestone and were often littered with waste from the horses who pulled the carriages who pulled the wealthy.

During the French Revolution, Paris was in a state of chaos. The people were crazed by the ideas of liberty, and hate towards the aristocracy. Historical Fiction Final Project A Tale of Two Cities is set during the French Revolution in both France and England.

What Was Going On During The French Revolution?
The goal of the French Revolution was liberty, equality, and fraternity.
There was an economic crisis so people began to resent the aristocracy.
Political groups were being formed including commoners and peasants within them.
Ideas of equality and citizenship were becoming popular.
Executions were carried out by revolutionaries against the aristocracy and enemies of the French Revolution.
Peasants were extremely poor and heavily taxed.
Prices on rent and food were going up faster than job wages.
The harvests in the year taxes were starting to rise were very bad and was one thing that lead to Revolution.
France was bankrupt in 1789 but rich people still didn't have to pay taxes. The Storming of the Bastille The storming of the Bastille was a monumental occasion during the French Revolution. On the morning of July 14, 1789, revolutionaries who called themselves the National Guard first stormed the Hotel Des Invalides in Paris for weapons and then marched to the Bastille in the center of the city. At the time there were only seven prisoners, and the main purpose of the storm was to seize the weapons and gunpowder that was being stored at the fortress. The Bastille itself was armed with walls mounted with guns and many veteran soldiers and fresh troops sent from the another regiment. "The Bastille, a prison that was a symbol of the King's absolute and arbitrary power." says the Bastille Day website. This was one of the reasons that it was attacked. At first a crowd of less than a thousand people gathered, yelling that the prison surrender, and two representatives were let inside to negotiate with the prison. However, soon after twelve o clock the crowd entered the inner courtyard and the fighting began. The crowd of fighters grew and the revolutionaries gained two cannons from deserters that helped them beat the soldiers. "The mob paraded through the streets, showing off their captives, and crudely cutting off many heads." says "Rebolution" a website about the french revolution. The governor in charge of the prison soon called for a cease fire to stop the massacre and sent a letter with his demands out the inner gate to the revolutionaries. He was disregarded, but soon gave up as his troops were near exhausted and it was clear that they had no chance. That day 98 attackers and on defender were killed. June 14th is now a national holiday called Bastille Day. I think that the storming of the Bastille was done very well in A Tale Of Two Cities. Dickens did a great job of portraying the enthusiasm of the crowd as they gathered outside and the chaos that broke out when the revolutionaries broke into the inner courtyard and began the great battle such as when Dickens writes "A tremendous roar arose from the throat of St. Antoine, and a forest of naked arms struggled in the air like shriveled branches of trees in a wintery wind: all the fingers convulsively clutching at every weapon that was thrown up from the depths below..." (Dickens 634). However, he does not describe the time at which the representatives went inside to discuss their terms with the prison. I think that this is an important predecessor to the battle to come, and I wish it had been included. However, I liked that he went into so much detail describing the interior of the Bastille when Defarge goes looking for Dr. Mannette's cell. Such as when Dickens writes, "Through gloomy vaults where the light of day had never shone, past hideous doors of dark dens and cages, down cavernous flights of steps, and again up steep rugged ascents of stone, more like dry waterfalls than staircases Defarge, the turnkey, and Jaques three, linked hand and arm, went with all the speed they could make." (Dickens 643). I also think that he should have said that they wanted the weapons that were stored there. All in all, I think that the storming of the Bastille in A Tale of Two Cities was mostly accurate, but perhaps slightly overdramatized. Sources:
http://bastille-day.com/history/Storming-Of-The-Bastille-July-14-1789
http://library.thinkquest.org/C006257/revolution/storming_of_bastille.shtml
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Penguin, 2001. Print.
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