The Use of Symbolism to Foreshadow the Future
Often authors use signs to foreshadow events that will happen in the future in their stories. For example an author might write "As he was walking down the dark eerie path dark skies began to form" . Here the writer uses a usually negative sign to foreshadow a negative future. This is the most common way for authors to foreshadow in a story, but it isn't the only way. In some instances authors use symbols to foreshadow the future of a character. Like foreshadowing with signs, symbols can also be used to foreshadow both positive and negative futures. In the two short stories "The story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara the authors use symbols to foreshadow both a positive and negative futures. In "The Story of an Hour" Chopin uses positive symbols to foreshadow a woman's future without her husband who was killed in a railroad accident. In "The Lesson" Bambara uses a toy sailboat to foreshadow both positive and negative futures of a little girl named Sylvia.
Chopin's story begins with a woman who has locked herself up in her room who stares endlessly out her window after getting word of her husbands death. As the woman is looking out of her window she begins to think about her new life and what is in store for her now that she is widowed. An important note about this story is that it takes place back in the 1890's. In the 1890's woman had very little rights and were very dependent upon their husbands whether they loved them or not. As the woman stares out of her window the reader quickly learns about her true feelings. Through foreshadowing with symbolism we find out that the woman looks at her husbands death as liberating. The reader first realizes this when Chopin writes, "She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life," (Chopin 157). The open square gives the reader a sense that since the death of...
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