Chapter 13: The Execution
Darnay has written letters to his family and at 1.00 p.m. in the afternoon
Carton enters his cell. He has obtained a drug from a pharmacy and he drugs Darnay. Two guards who believe that Darnay is Carton carry him out of the prison and Carton is taken to a larger cell where
fifty-two prisoners await execution.
Only one person notices the swap and that is a meek seamstress who asks if
Carton will hold her hand on the way to the guillotine.
Meanwhile, the coach containing Mr. Lorry, the Doctor, Lucie and daughter,
and Darnay leaves Paris. Darnay is still unconscious. They make their escape out of France.
Again the theme of doubles appears in the book.
Carton uses his resemblance to Darnay to save his life for a second time,
but the difference is that Carton will lose his life as a result.
Initially the reader may think that the sacrifice is made out of his love
for Lucie and her child, but clearly Dickens has made the point that Darnay was everything that Carton could have been, so in a way, he is resurrecting his own life through Darnay.
He has also planned and managed the whole escape himself, when the others could only stand by helplessly. This gives him self-satisfaction in that when pushed to it, he has great abilities.