Repercussions of Violence Essay Example
Lord Byron, an esteemed poet, once said “The sight of blood to crowds begets the thirst for more, as the wine-cup leads to the long revel.” Violence is like a contagious disease that starts with one person and then burgeons through society. The French Revolution was a time where starving people rose in a frenzy in hopes of overthrowing the corrupt government. Hostile actions were minimal, but people were influenced to take action then causing the tragic Revolution. In Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Conflicting times provokes people to resort to cruelty which perpetuates more violence within a society.
Uncontrolled violence has been seen all throughout time by revolutionaries bloodthirst. For instance, the wine-cask breaks open and wine spills everywhere. Seeing this, a mob of hungry people in Paris rush towards it and start fighting for their own share of wine.
A greedy and savage man’s savagery starts to show and “scrawled upon a wall with his fingers dipped in muddy wine-less-BLOOD,” staining the wall (Dickens 36). Dickens illustrates how the revolutionaries rushed to get what they wanted in a violent manner. As more people started to head for the wine, the more mob violence that was shown. The man writes the word “blood” to represent and warn people that future bloodshed will occur in a gruesome manner.
Moreover, a revolutionaries bloodthirst is also shown when Madame Defarge and Miss Pross fight. Dickens describes, “The two hands of Madame Defarge buffeted and tore her face; but, Miss Pross, with her head down, held her round the waist, and clung to her with more than the hold of a drowning man,” amplifying the fight (Dickens 434). Angered by ongoing events, Madame Defarge storms to start trouble with Miss Pross. Miss Pross being the peaceful woman she is, doesn’t fight back in the beginning. But, as Madame Defarge’s coldness is shown, Miss Pross starts to show her violent side and fights Madame Defarge. The readers are able to see how one act of violence perpetuated another act of violence. People’s bloodthirst causes violence to proliferate in a society.
One’s shameless and selfish acts of violence can spark long-term violence in a society. Likewise, Madame Defarge, a strong revolutionist is angered by the actions of a man who hurt her sister. Although it was only one man, she is willing to seek revenge on multiple people. Madame Defarge bitterly states, “‘I care nothing for this Doctor, I. He may wear his head or lose it, for any interest I have in him; it is all one to me. But, the Evremonde people are to be exterminated and the wife and child must follow the husband and father’” exposing her cruel thoughts (Dickens 424). Although only one person was the cause of Madame Defarge’s pain, she decides to take it out on everybody through murder. Her own violent thoughts are detrimental to society as it causes harm to many people.
If more people are affected by her violence, then the already existing problems become gruesomely worse. Another instance where selfish violence is shown, is when Marquis Evremonde, an aristocrat, carelessly kills a child. Dickens writes, “...one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud cry from a number of voices…’Killed’ shrieked the man in wild desperation” killing the child (Dickens 127). Marquis’s head is clouded up with his selfish deeds. He doesn’t show any emotion towards the underclass and acts brutally towards them. He runs over a child and doesn’t seem to care which angers the fellow people of St. Antoine. This sparks the revolution as more acts of violence is shown. People’s selfish and violent deeds cause much violent chaos in a society.
In Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, perpetuated violence is seen as a result of people’s reactions to conflicting times. All in all, it is human nature for people to turn to violence in troubling times. When violence comes to mind, people think of fights on city streets or countries at war. But, violence really manifests from the tiny and unexpected events. Violence is only a snowball that gets worse as time passes.
“Lord Byron Quote.” A, www.azquotes.com/quote/1324339.
Krapesh, Patti, et al. A Tale of Two Cities. Raintree, 1980.