Western Civilization 242
February 22, 2013
Anatole France’s Mindset of the French Revolution
Anatole France’s The Gods will have Blood took place in the late time period of the French Revolution. He used this story to depict the cultural and social impacts that this time period had upon the French society. All classes at this time were targeted and were given little to no cause of justification. France uses characters to portray this time era and their struggle for the embodiment of power and whether it is good or evil. Throughout The Gods will have Blood, Gamelin speaks of his beliefs within the revolution and on his trust within the ideas of Marat and ...view middle of the document...
He later quotes on page 105, “I am a magistrate. I am responsible only to my conscience...Judgment is mine, not yours. I know neither friends nor enemies.”3This quotes shows how he begins to lose his sanity and becomes the “monster” that Elodie once referred to him as. As time progressed, other problems throughout the Revolution began to arise. The people were becoming poor and hungry throughout the villages, and Gamelin began to blame the Brissotins who were moderates within the Convention. Gamelin quotes, “Mother, the scarcity we’re suffering from is caused by the monopolists and speculators who starve the people and conspire with our enemies outside the country to turn the citizens against the Republic and to destroy liberty.”4 Soon after saying this, Gamelin continues to state that we should lay our trust within Robespierre and Marat because he believes that they are the only men who have the people’s true interest in mind. Robespierre is known for writing The Justification of the Use of Terror in which he made a contrast within terror and virtue. Robespierre inspired Gamelin because of his calm authority and his belief that France should start from scratch. Both Robespierre and Gamelin fell on the same day due to their sudden mutation into such merciless men. The idea of violence could have easily been what inspired the people to the revolution because it has done so in the past. France explains within The God’s will have Blood that power can corrupt a society if it focuses too much on just structure and theory, which can result in a true evil. Anatole France truly recreated the devastation and brutality of the Reign of Terror and how it had its effects upon the revolution. He made his story with Gamelin tie into some of the most influential people of the Revolution such as Robespierre himself.
The French Revolution began as a time in history that would change the French society. Even though positive outcomes did appear from this movement, they came at a drastic cost. Inflation was on a rise in France, and it came with a huge amount of national debt. The rise of mercantilism...