A Tale of Two Cities

What are the examples of foreshadowing on page 109?

On page 109- book II it talks about women knitting but I don't know what the foreshadowing is?

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The knitting foreshadows death.

Madame Defarge’s knitting constitutes a whole network of symbols. Into her needlework she stitches a registry, or list of names, of all those condemned to die in the name of a new republic. But on a metaphoric level, the knitting constitutes a symbol in itself, representing the stealthy, cold-blooded vengefulness of the revolutionaries. As Madame Defarge sits quietly knitting, she appears harmless and quaint. In fact, however, she sentences her victims to death. Similarly, the French peasants may appear simple and humble figures, but they eventually rise up to massacre their oppressors.

Dickens’s knitting imagery also emphasizes an association between vengefulness and fate, which, in Greek mythology, is traditionally linked to knitting or weaving. The Fates, three sisters who control human life, busy themselves with the tasks of weavers or seamstresses: one sister spins the web of life, another measures it, and the last cuts it. Madame Defarge’s knitting thus becomes a symbol of her victims’ fate—death at the hands of a wrathful peasantry.



Dickens also subtly states “the one woman [Madame Defarge] who [stands] conspicuous, knitting, still knit[s] on with the steadfastness of Fate” and he is foreshadowing the French Revolution by comparing Madame Defarge to Fate (117). Both Madame Defarge and Fate mark people who are destined to die which leads further into the French Revolution.

Also consider,

Lastly, Dickens presents the statement “they their very selves [are] closing in around a structure yet unbuilt, where they [are] to sit knitting, knitting, counting dropping heads” to show that in the future, Madame Defarge and her women knit while counting the heads being severed by La Guillotine (187).