Injustice, Sacrifice, Redemption.

Essay by maddiemsullivanCollege, Undergraduate November 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Madelyn Sullivan

Professor Allison Wise

English Comp 1

11 November 2014

Injustice, Sacrifice, Redemption.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the

age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of

light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of

despair" (Dickens 1).

The French Revolution was a period of social upheaval and unrest in France, with riots,

battles, and government overthrows raging throughout the country as the fight for freedom and

equality escalated. Numerous books explore this period of history, but two in particular, Les

Misérables, by Victor Hugo, and A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, address the French

Revolution in a personal, impactful way. Although set in different time periods of the Revolution,

both books exemplify three central themes: injustice, sacrifice, and redemption. The character

and plot development of both novels not only show these themes's central place in the French

Revolution, but also highlight the themes' intrinsic interrelation and their impact on humanity.

Injustice and oppression were rampant in seventeenth and eighteenth century France. The

monarchy and upper class enjoyed lives of gross extravagance and frivolity, pursuing lifestyles

of ease and pleasure, while the lower classes battled poverty, starvation, and death. The common

people possessed few rights and were subject to unjust laws that favored the wealthy and

powerful, who often abused their power mindlessly. For example, in A Tale of Two Cities,


Dickens recounts an incident where a young boy was run over by the carriage of a marquis. The

child, killed by the force of the carriage, lay dead in his father's arms. The marquis, aggravated at...