The cask of wine that breaks open on the streets of Saint Antoine foreshadows the upcoming revolutionary bloodshed:
A large cask of wine had been dropped and broken, in the street […] All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine […] A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices […] resounded in the street while this wine-game lasted […] it stained many hands […]
This passage highlights the visual similarities between red wine and blood and foreshadows the violence that will occur later in the novel. The same hands that are stained with wine in this passage will be stained with blood once the revolution begins in earnest. Though the spilled wine creates a rare moment of joy and companionship in the starving Saint Antoine community, the people are just as destitute as before once the wine is consumed. This brief moment of catharsis does not provide Saint Antoine with a lasting solution, foreshadowing how the revolutionaries’ appetite for violence, once awakened, will not be sated.
As Darnay embarks on his ill-fated journey to France, he can feel himself becoming increasingly trapped as he draws closer to Paris. Dickens uses metaphor to evoke Darnay’s sense of imprisonment:
Not a mean village closed upon him, not a common barrier dropped across the road behind him, but he knew it to be another iron door in the series that was barred between him and England. The universal watchfulness so encompassed him, that if he had been taken in a net, or were being forwarded to his destination in a cage, he could not have felt his freedom more completely gone.
Dickens describes the many checkpoints that Darnay passes as clanking iron doors and the all-encompassing watchfulness of the French people as a cage. This pair of metaphors foreshadows Darnay’s future imprisonment by suggesting that, for all intents and purposes, Darnay has already been captured. He is trapped the moment he sets foot in France. This passage adds to the deterministic feel of the novel. Though Darnay has not yet been tried and sentenced, his family background appears to seal his fate.