Foreshadowing Signals the Conclusion in a Good Man Is Hard to Find

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In A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor writes into her short story elements and symbolic clues that signal the family’s untimely death at the hands of the Misfit. Using a third-person limited omniscience point of view with the narration coming from the single perspective of the grandmother, O’Connor wastes no time in her foreshadowing the tragic ending that awaits the family. In fact, the first instance can be found in the opening paragraph of the story. The story begins with the grandmother feeling uneasy about an upcoming road trip that she is about to take with her family from their home in Georgia to a destination in Florida. She tries in vain to convince her son, Bailey to reconsider the trip by making him aware of risks she has found in the newspaper. “Here this fellow that calls himself the Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen…and read what it says he did with these people…I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it” (O’Connor p.445). This passage is important because it is a hint about the man who will ultimately be responsible for murdering the family. Unable to change her son’s mind, the following morning, the family prepares to leave on their trip and the grandmother’s attire is the next instance of foreshadowing. “The grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat…and a navy blue dress with small white dots in the case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead body on the highway would know at once she was a lady” (O’Conner p.446). It seems morbid that the grandmother has chosen her outfit with the thought in mind of how she would look if she was found dead on the side of the road. The inclusion of the grandmother’s line of thinking here foreshadows her death. As the family continues on their trip, O’Connor continues to give the reader clues on the tragic outcome. While driving down the highway, the family “passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of...
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