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Foreshadowing in the Short Story a Good Man Is Hard to Find

Essay by review  •  December 25, 2010  •  Essay  •  577 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,121 Views

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This story starts out with a grandmother who lives with her son and his family. The Family decides to drive down to Florida for a vacation even though the grandmother protests it and states that she would rather go to Tennessee. The main reason why she doesn't want to go to Florida is because she has read about a crazed killer by the name of the Misfit who is on the run heading for Florida. The story starts out normal and on a steady pace but then all of the sudden a surprising turn of events take place. In the story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor uses a lot of foreshadowing which hints towards how the story will end.

At the morning of the trip the grandmother is the first one in the car ready to go as her grandchild June Star predicted she would be, "She wouldn't stay at home for a million buck. She has to go everywhere we go". This is pretty much a direct foreshadowing of the grandma's death. Near the end of the story, the reader wonders why each time Bobby Lee and Hiram takes someone into the forest, they never come back. Well at the end of the story the whole family is taken to die. June Star's comment that the grandmother goes everywhere the family goes can be read as a sign that she will meet the same fate as them. There's also another blatant foreshadowing in the story. The author describes that the grandmother is dressed very nice on the trip and the reason she gives is, "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." When a person dies, they usually are dressed in their best outfit, just like the grandmother was dressed in what seemed to be her Sunday best. This shows that there shouldn't be a shock if something fatal happens to her at the end. There's also one interesting foreshadowing image placed into the short story. While on the trip the family, "Passed by a cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island." It's pretty fascinating how the number of graves matches the exact number of people in the car. There are 5 people in the car and a baby. Since a baby is not exactly a full complete person, the unclear number of graves being "five or six" is fitting. The next foretell example right after that is when the grandmother stated, ""Look at the graveyard! That was the old family burying ground. That belonged to the plantation."

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