In the novel, the Bastille symbolizes the nobility's abuse of power, exemplified by the unjust imprisonment of Dr. Manette by Marquis St. Evrémonde. Yet the Bastille is not the only prison in A Tale of Two Cities. The revolutionaries also unjustly imprison Charles in La Force prison. Through this parallel, Dickens suggests that the French revolutionaries come to abuse their power just as much as the nobility did.
The theme of imprisonment also links to the theme of history and fate. For instance, when Charles is drawn back to Paris because of his own past actions, each checkpoint he passes seems to him like a prison door shutting behind him.