Bourgeois Humanitarianism—A Brief Study of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities



As a novel written with sorrow and concern, A Tale of Two Cities exposed the inhumanity of aristocrats, showed sympathy for the miserable life of the oppressed, expressed contradictory ideas about mass revolution, and advocated solving the problem with benevolent spirit and forgiveness. Vividly described characters and various writing devices enabled the author, Dickens to fully express bourgeois humanitarianism in his own way. The bourgeois humanitarianism he held in ideology led to reluctance for vehement rebellion and support for moderate reformism in politics. Throughout the book he tried to remind the ruling class not to oppress the common people too harsh, and the public not to resort to violence. As a representative of bourgeois humanitarianism, Charles’ humanitarianism also plays a role in the modern bourgeois societies and provides a living example for us to understand the nature of bourgeoisie.


Bourgeois humanitarianism; A Tale of Two Cities; Sympathy; Contradictory ideas

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