A Tale of Two Cities is a notable literary work by Charles Dickens. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of A Tale of Two Cities.
In “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859) by Charles Dickens (1812-1870), the attack on the Bastille is one of the key events that takes place during the rough times of the French Revolution. The Bastille symbolizes tyranny and oppression. It represents the power of the people rising against the ruling aristocracy.
The Setting: The Bastille is a prison in Paris where many prisoners were imprisoned without any crime during and before France’s revolution. The people of Paris were dissatisfied with the monarchy’s rule. The Bastille became a terrible place for the general people of France. They tried to be free from this type of situation.
Mob Gathering: A large, passionate group of common people gathered outside the Bastille, demanding its surrender. The Governor of the Bastille, De Launay, hesitated to give in, further fuelling the tension.
Storming the Bastille: The growing agitated mob eventually broke into the Bastille by force. The battle is intense, with casualties on both sides.
The Governor’s Opposition: The governor of the Bastille is unwilling to surrender and tries to hold off the mob. However, the crowd’s overwhelming numbers and determination proved too much for the defenders. The crowd shouts, “Kill him! Kill the man!” as they demand justice and freedom.
The Fall of the Bastille: After fierce fighting and bloodshed, the Bastille’s defences are breached, and the mob gains entry. The fall of the Bastille is a victorious moment for the revolutionaries, as described by Dickens:
“The prison of the Abbaye was the secret which, bursting open in the dead of night, admitted him to the knowledge and acquaintance of Monsieur Gabelle.”
Symbolic Triumph: The attack on the Bastille marks a turning point in the revolution, as the people’s power becomes transparent. The fall of the Bastille fuels the revolution. It creates the stage for revolution against established oppression and tyranny generation after generation.
In short, the attack on the Bastille in “A Tale of Two Cities” depicts the strength of the united people against oppression. It symbolizes hope and change during the French Revolution.