Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2020, Page: 1-12
A Study of Verbs Related to Violence in A Tale of Two Cities
Chen Cheng, Foreign Language Department, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
Received: Oct. 23, 2019;       Accepted: Dec. 12, 2019;       Published: Jan. 4, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ellc.20200501.11      View  342      Downloads  176
Abstract
Almost every Englishman is aware, however slightly, of the wonderful novels of Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities, one of the historical fictions, set in the context of the French Revolution, begins with the miserable plight of the French people living under the exploitation of the aristocrats in the years leading up to the revolution and ends with the exceedingly blind and terrifying revolt and vengeance demonstrated by the revolutionaries. It has been vastly studied from different aspects, like the territory and disciplinary frontier-crossings, revelation of personal and national identity, uses of caricatures and ironies. We apply the quantitative method to the study of verbs related to violence so as to uncover Dicken’s attitudes towards the French Revolution and investigate deeper into the double theme - violence, madness, terrorism and love, reason, forgiveness. “How does Dickens’s approval of the capital punishment influence his writing of A Tale?” “As readers are drenched in the heart-rending sentiment and intoxicated by the sacrificial love at the end, why do hatred and violence, as claimed by many commentators, serve as the main theme of the novel? In fact, the answer is embedded in the use of verbs related to violence. We will first compare the political stands of Burke, Carlyle and Dickens, and then proceed to the two lists of words related to violence and a diagram displayed on AntConc, followed by the analysis of the three main characters in A Tale - Doctor Mannette, Madame Defarge and Sydney Carton.
Keywords
A Tale of Two Cities, Verbs, Violence, Quantitative Method, Charles Dickens’s Attitude
To cite this article
Chen Cheng, A Study of Verbs Related to Violence in A Tale of Two Cities, English Language, Literature & Culture. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-12. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20200501.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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