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Significance of the Lion and Jackal in “A Tale of Two Cities”

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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.

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Short Notes on the Significance of the Lion and Jackal

In Charles Dickens’s  (1812-1870) novel, “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859), there are two characters who are known as the “Lion” and the “Jackal”. The name has a symbolic meaning in the story. Here, Stryver represents the lion, while Carton plays an important role as ‘the jackal. These two characters are spies who work for the oppressive rule of the French aristocracy during the towering period of the French Revolution.

The “Lion” and the “Jackal” represent the ruthless nature of the ruling class in France at that time. They are ready to do everything to maintain their power and privilege. They don’t feel any hesitation even to betray their fellow citizens. The “Lion” symbolizes strength and authority, while the “Jackal” embodies cunning and deception. They are the symbol of a grim force in civil society. They believe that the tyrannical regime can suppress the rising tide of revolution.

Moreover, the names “Lion” and “Jackal” dehumanize these characters. It made them tools of oppression and tyranny. They act like predators, a person who ruthlessly exploits others. They exploit the chaos and fear of the revolution for their own gain.

The actions of the “Lion” and the “Jackal” increase gradually in the novel’s story. Their activities affect the lives of the novel’s central characters, including Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Their presence illustrates the theme of social injustice and the stark contrast between the aristocracy and the ordinary people.

In short, the “Lion” and the “Jackal” are symbolic characters in the novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. They are the symbol of the oppressive aristocracy and social inequity. Dickens highlights the stark social divisions and lengths through these two characters.