A Tale of Two Cities– the Function of Excess
Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens depicts the effects of excess on a society. The excesses Dickens reveals throughout A Tale of Two Cities lead to great and wicked amongst people. Excess in the book is shown in such ways as the elegant lives royalty and upper class live, excess of feeling and hatred among peasants and other revolutionaries and excess of love. All of these excesses relate with feeling, as some excesses are revealed through feeling, as the case with love, while other excesses trigger the display of feeling among people impacted.
In A Tale of Two Cities, there is a large gap in between social classes. Royalty and aristocrats lead very costly, excessive and extravagant lives. This space in class and the absence of look after peasants and other bad individuals’s treatment triggered hatred among the peasants towards the royalty and aristocracy. At this time in France, the upper class is much higher than the lower, as displayed in the red wine scene. Difference in class is revealed throughout book one chapter 5, as a bottle breaks in front of a shop, and peasants go to lick up the white wine, with neglect for the mud combined with it.
The breaking of the bottle impacts all bad near it as, “All the people within reach had suspended their company, or their idleness, to go to the spot and consume the white wine.” The turmoil raised by the breaking of the bottle even more reveals the excess that exists in the upper class, as none of the peasants would have the ability to get any white wine on any other occasion as they are so poor. The mistreating of the peasant class by the aristocrats causes transformation. The feeling of the peasant class is what the Reign of terror was constructed on. The peasants had severe hatred towards those who they felt were against them and the transformation.
The expression of hatred among the peasants and lower class is most plainly revealed through Madame DeFarge. Throughout the unique, Madame DeFarge is seen knitting frequently. Madame DeFarge’s knitting is her method of keeping track of those who will pass away later on in the transformation, as she makes a symbol for each person she witnesses that lives with disregard and disrespect towards herself and the other peasants. Madame DeFarge does this really quietly, and her actions are unnoticeable to all around her, but this excess of emotion she has later on erupts among others into evil, as thousands are killed in what today is referred to as the Reign of Horror.
Excess is most displayed in this story in the form of love. Lucy and Darnay both enjoy each other excessively, and their love is good due to the fact that it brings happiness to both of their lives. Love is likewise shown by Container, but while he does not show his love for Lucy excessively, him dying so Darnay and Lucy might cohabit reveals the terrific amount of love he feels for Lucy. Carton tries to show to others that he does not have sensations for Lucy as when he is talking with Stryver and states, “If a girl, doll or no doll, swoons within a backyard or 2 of a guy’s nose, he can see it without a perspective-glass.
I promise you, but reject the charm.” While Container promises he does not believe anything of Lucy, he in truth has love for her in excess. Emotion is a driving force in this novel. Without the display of emotion, the events of this book would not have been possible. The cause for feeling in this book is excess, as those without excess will never ever treat those with excess the same, especially when it is a case as this story, and classes are so distinct.