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What does the destruction of the Bastille symbolize? Throughout history, symbols have had an overwhelming presence among buildings. The destruction and storming of the Bastille had many symbols. It was a very overwhelming stone structure, which stood strong. The very architecture and placement of this prison gave itself a reputation of strength. It stood by itself, being the most intimidating structure of its time.
The Bastille was no longer being used as a political prison, and Louis XVI had even made plans to destroy it. On July 14 ,1789, a Parisian mob attacked the prison known as the Bastille. There were only seven prisoners in the Bastille at that time. That made little difference to the mob, who were actually looking for weapons. Promising the guards safe-conduct if they would surrender, the leaders of the mob broke their word and hacked them to death. The unreasonable Defarges led this besetting of the timeworn penitentiary. From the safety of their apartment; Mr. Lorry, Lucie Darnay, Charles Darnay, Mr. Carton, and Dr. Manette observed the assaulting of the Bastille. This uprise of the peasants symbolized a beginning to an end to all the injustices done by the aristocrats.
It was not the actual destruction of the aged prison that impaired the French monarchy, it was the idea that was born, that the people (peasants) could rise up and rule the land. “Give us the head of Foulon”(Dickens,222). This is the cry of the the people after the assailing of the Bastille. The French citizens of Saint Antoine demanded the termination of all the opulent people in France. Even though the Bastille was in the command of the revolutionaries, the figureheads of the monarchy that were not deleted yet. The slaying of palatial figureheads was a symbol representing vengeance. The fanatic revolutionaries wanted to cleanse France of all people that had anything to do with aristocracy. It was the decimation of the Bastille that symbolized the liberation from monarchy.
All their lives the people saw the Bastille as a barricade, blocking them from freedom of despotism. The Bastille was old and out lived its use, just like the monarchy. It was time for a change. The storming of the Bastille took this altercation to another level. It gave the people a chance to rise up and squash the monarchy and give birth to a new form of government, democracy.
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French Revolution, Bastille, Forts, Alexandre Manette, Louis XVI of France, France, The Most
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