Chapter 15: The ultimate sacrifice
The carts carrying the fifty-two prisoners trundle through the Paris streets
and the people crowd round to see Evremonde go to his death.
Carton ignores the yelling throng and focuses on the seamstress.
He comforts her and recalls the resurrection passage from the Bible.
The Vengeance is concerned at the absence of Mme. Defarge.
As he mounts the steps towards the guillotine, Carton has a vision where he
foresees long and happy lives for Mr. Lorry, Dr. Manette and the Darnay family, all of who will remember him lovingly. He also pictures Lucie and Darnay having a son, whom they call Carton.
The bookends with the famous line ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do,
than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known’.
The book finishes with Dickens emphasis on the important themes aired
previously. The Revolution was a result of years of subjugation and opulence enjoyed by the aristocracy.
Again we have dualism between the carts carrying the fifty-two prisoners to
their death paralleled to the carriages of the aristocracy mentioned at the beginning.
Death often leads to resurrection, and Dickens uses this theme to conclude
the book with a vision of hope.
The Revolution in France will eventually wear itself out and the people of
France will be resurrected from the depths of evil.
Carton comforts the seamstress saying that she will find everlasting life
together with the other innocents killed at the hands of the mob. He also obtains comfort by the thought that in a sense he will be resurrected through his namesake i.e. the Darnay’s son.