Foreshadowing in Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard To Find"

Essay by LoddelydotHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2003

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Throughout Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard To Find", hints are given to the readers that foretell what is in store, foreshadowing the grotesque ending that is to come. These insinuations of the forthcoming become coincidences later in the story when they actually do develop into reality, creating mocking irony. The names within the story can be considered foreshadowing themselves. For example, the name of the town where the family is murdered is called "Toombsboro." The word "Toombsboro" can be separated into two words: Tombs and Bury. These are words that signify death. The fact that the author chose this as a name for the town, implies the foul event that will insure later in the story. The first moment that foreshadowed the future was the article about the Misfit that the grandmother showed Bailey. She told him, "A Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida...I

wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it."(368) This moment sets up a major coincidence when the family later runs into the Misfit. Plus, it was an irony because the Grandmother had attempted to persuade the family not to go in the direction the Misfit was heading. Yet, unfortunately only June Star paid any attention to the comment, and the family did run into the criminal. Additionally, a less obvious evidence of foreshadowing occurred when June Star announced, "She [The Grandmother] wouldn't stay at home for a million bucks. She has to go everywhere we go"(368) This can be read as a direct foreshadowing of the order and occurrence of the grandmother's death. When the family comes across the Misfit, and each family member is taken into the forest, the reader wonders why every time Bobby Lee and Hiram...