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In the fair city of this vision, there were airy galleries from which the loves and graces looked upon him, gardens in which the fruits of life hung ripening, waters of Hope that sparkled in his sight. A moment, and it was gone. Climbing to a high chamber in a well of houses, he threw himself down in his clothes on a neglected bed, and its pillow was wet with wasted tears.
A great gulf exists between the life that Carton leads and the life that he imagines for himself, between the type of man that he is and the type of man that he dreams of being. Carton’s complex and conflicted inner life paves the way for his dramatic development, which eventually elevates him out of his jackal status.
Dickens employs masterful foreshadowing in Chapter 6, as he uses these scenes both to hint at Carton’s eventual ascendance into glory and to anticipate two vital plot turns. The discovery of the mysterious letter in the Tower of London, and Manette’s distress upon hearing of it, foreshadows the moment when, during a later trial, the prosecution will confront the doctor with a letter he wrote while imprisoned in the Bastille. As the second trial forms the dramatic core of the latter half of the novel, the discovery of this second letter forms a crucial part of the plot and dictates the course of the characters’ lives. By introducing the story of a first and parallel letter, Dickens prepares the reader for the discovery of the second. As soon as the second letter surfaces, the reader will instantly recognize it as important. The second event that Dickens foreshadows is the French Revolution itself. The “hundreds of people” to which the title of Chapter 6 owes its name refers not to Lucie’s suitors (whose numbers Miss Pross clearly exaggerates) but to the multitude of angry, mutinous revolutionaries who, as Lucie and Carton foretell, will soon march into the characters’ lives.