A Tale of Two Cities as a historical novel

Examine A Tale of Two Cities as a historical novel.

A Tale of Two Cities as a historical novel

When often say that history is fact and novel is fictitious. In that case historical novels are a blend of both history and fiction. Johan Buchan tries to sum it up s, 'historical novel attempts to reconstruct the life and recaptures the atmosphere of an age other than that of the writer.' in that manner historical novel is an attempt to recreate life and Times of a particular and build up fictitious stories on the backdrop of a particular period.

A Tales of Two Cities is aptly called a tale, than novel. It is so because there is more fiction then facts. Dickens's work was heavily influenced bye Carlyle's French Revolution a prose the poem that was an inaccurate history. Here there is no reference to Voltaire , Rousseau or other men whose idea sparked off the French Revolution. This is hardly any reference to original history. According to Carlyle the French Revolution is much acclaimed and dreamt and written of as an open, violent, rebillion and victory. It is a struggle between anarchy and authority. A violent thinking and violent acting mob overthrew the atrocious aristocracies. The French Revolution suggests that a revolution erupts on account tyrannical and selfish leaders who are blind to the suffering of the masses. Dickens was sympathetic to the poor and oppressed humanity and wrote a Tale of Two Cities using the view of Carlyle as a backdrop.

A Tale of Two Cities is a historical novel without much history. The Bastille and the Guillotine are the only historical facts. The French Revolution had many different aspect but Dickens is silent about them. He does not take about Bourgeois, serfs, peasants or the philosophies of Voltaire, Rousseau etc. At the risk of ignoring history Dickens incorporated the revolution with personal incidents. The author did not regard the revolution to be the outcome of intellectual philosophy but an orgy of insane bloodshed. He sees the revolution in a different light. He describes revolution as masterminded by the Defarges and concedes that aristocrats have inflicted infinite torture and suffering on the poor. A revolution was a necessary outcome. But it also indiscriminatery murdered the innocents. Dickens emphasizes that so much bloodshed and vengeance is unnecessary for regeneration of mankind.

One of the cities in the novel is London but the novel largely deal with the happening from the other side of the channel. Dickens was aware of the poverty and penuries of the poor workers of industries. The discontent of these workers was liable of bringing such an upsurge in England. Under the influence of the history provide by Carlyle, Dickens has a very limit knowledge of the history of France. He came to know about the atrocities of nobles and clergies from Carlyle. Louis XV was an uncaring rulers. He and his wife's Luxurious living were splendid and the treasury was running dry. France was open for foreign invision and conquest since its military had no power. Everywhere corruption was prevalent to the helm. The heinous crime committed by the hierarchy was not an isolated case of Evermonders. It was abundant in France. The rape and molestation of the peasant girl and death of her family subsequently is just an example for many. Dickens as a patriot does not want such a revolution in his soil.

But it was a close call. The industrial workers were deprived, exploited and marginally paid. Discontent was prevalent in this section. Novel is as sort of a warning by Dickens for the capitalists in his country. Event if Dickens friend historical accuracy but plight of the layman is very near the true picture. Dickens as a novelist author a novel that is totally imaginative but nevertheless represent a part of revolution. Dickens's work does not glorify revolution nor does it shun it. It only sheds light that revolution, bloodshed, mob voilence and implacable hatred would never turn the world into a utopian state overnight, whereas moral regeneration in every individual can bring about such a desired change.

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