Dickens’ Use of Foreshadowing in a Tale of Two Cities

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 432 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 432|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

A Tale of Two Cities is full of foreshadowing and hints that tell us more about the story. Dickens however carefully chooses what he wants to foreshadow, which is the upcoming revolution. He is never shy in expressing how the revolution is coming and how the people are preparing for it. In book one chapter five, a wine cart has fallen and broken open, allowing wine to spill onto the streets. Immediately peasants rush over to the pool of spilt wine and begin to lap it up, as if they were dogs, because they were too poor to afford food or drink. Then a man dips his fingers into the wine and begins to write the word blood on the wall. The wine itself is supposed to symbolize blood, but the word blood is Dickens use of foreshadowing showing us that something gruesome is coming, and blood will run through the streets.

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Another example of foreshadowing that Dickens uses is Doctor Manette being imprisoned. Doctor Manette was wrongfully imprisoned in the Bastille by aristocrats, more specifically the Evrémondes. This is foreshadowing that later on other people, and characters will be treated unjustly by the law in England and in France, mainly Charles who was imprisoned in the Bastille and was to be executed. But Sydney Carton who is Charles’ look alike switches places with him at the last minute by sacrificing himself, and dying, spilling his blood instead of Charles’. This foreshadowing links back to the wine cart incident, where the streets will run red with blood, Sydney’s blood and the blood of the revolutionaries.

A final example of foreshadowing would be when Dickens describes Doctor Manette’s house. He writes about the echoing footsteps, how they were increasing rapidly, as if it was the sound of marching. This foreshadows the marching of the revolutionaries in the revolution. We are taken back again to the noise being heard in the Manette house when the French revolutionaries are about to storm the Bastille, we are told the echoing footsteps have become more lively, and rapid.

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Dickens uses foreshadowing to produce a sense of despair for his characters. He is trying to show us that the characters that we have come to know will be in danger, and that they will be in certain doom. The way he writes is really effective, and it works because he is writing about the French Revolution, which most people know the gruesome outcome of. His foreshadowing methods are really the backbone of this book. He continually uses foreshadowing to thicken the plot and intensify the story and its drama.      

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Dickens’ Use Of Foreshadowing In A Tale Of Two Cities. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Dickens’ Use Of Foreshadowing In A Tale Of Two Cities.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Dickens’ Use Of Foreshadowing In A Tale Of Two Cities. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
Dickens’ Use Of Foreshadowing In A Tale Of Two Cities [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from:
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