A Tale of Two Cities
How we cite our quotes:
What private solicitude could rear itself against the deluge of the Year One of Liberty--the deluge rising from below, not falling from above, and with the windows of Heaven shut, not opened! (3.4.8)
The rallying cry of "Liberty" becomes blind to the struggles and the rights of individuals. As everyone tells Doctor Manette, individual sacrifices for the good of the Republic should be welcomed – even if those sacrifices include the unfair execution of family members.
"In short," said Sydney, "this is a desperate time, when desperate games are played for desperate stakes." (3.8.73)
As the new Republic quickly descends into chaos, Sydney’s back-door dealings become the only way to change the political situation of the times.
"How goes the Republic?"
"You mean the Guillotine. Not ill. Sixty-three to-day. We shall mount to a hundred soon." (3.9.67)
The conversations of the crowd explain the sudden corruption of revolutionary zeal better than any of the main characters ever do. Once the Republic becomes synonymous with the Guillotine, things can’t really be headed in a very good direction.