I love how Part 7 opens with the image of boiling human stew. I think Dickens really conveys how a crowded room would feel and smell through this metaphor.
Mr Lorry’s flattery of Mr Stryver’s legal skills is very realistic in modern life as well as in the relevant period. The relationship between solicitors and barristers is one of flattery by necessity. One wants them to represent their clients and the other wants to be chosen to represent clients.
Mr Carton’s projecting his self-hatred onto Mr Darnay is interesting particularly as he is going out of his way to spend time with him and give the appearance of being nice to him. The point is emphasised by his talking to himself in the mirror in which, like Mr Carton and Mr Darnay themselves, everything is almost the same but opposite.
Carton feels that he has had no control over his life and everything has fallen into place through some external method determined by luck. This would explain his hatred of Mr Darnay as he looks like him and is therefore illustrative of another life that Carton could have had.
The description of Dr Manette’s home and its surrounding area is a far cry from Dickens’ usual description of the filth and squalor of London. It is pointed out that the nature is unusual for the area. It is interesting that the shoemaker’s bench and tools are kept within the house. You wouldn’t normally expect someone to keep a souvenir of a negative experience.
Dr Manette’s reaction to Darnay’s story of the buried ashes in the Tower of London implies that he remembers more about his incarceration than he admits. This may later link to his keeping the bench and tools.
Miss Manette’s romantic idea of echoing footsteps being symbolic of people entering her and her father’s life may not be as far-fetched as the gentlemen apparently perceive. After all, every man in the room with her at the time has come into her life since the start of the book.