Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is full of foreshadowing. From the very beginning of the story, the reader gets a sense that something bad is going to happen. The family is planning a vacation to Florida, but the grandmother doesn’t want to go there because she thinks it’s too dangerous. She tries to convince her son and daughter-in-law to take a different route, but they refuse.
Throughout the story, there are small hints that something bad is going to happen. The grandmother talks about how there are no good men left in the world anymore. She also mentions that she used to know a man named Bailey who turned out to be no good. She even talks about how she used to know a man named Misfit who was a criminal. All of these things foreshadow the fact that Bailey and his family are going to meet up with the Misfit and they are all going to be killed.
O’Connor uses foreshadowing in this story to create a sense of suspense and anticipation in the reader. By the time the family meets up with the Misfit, the reader knows that something bad is going to happen. This makes the ending of the story all the more shocking and effective.
The unexpected violence at the end of Flannery O’Connor’s story “A Good Man Is Difficult to Find” is striking. However, if one re-reads the narrative as a second time, several hints of foreshadowing can be observed. O’Connor employs vivid imagery to foreshadow both people and events in this narrative throughout the tale. She utilizes it three times over the course of this narrative.
The first time is when the family is discussing going on vacation. The grandmother points out that she would rather go to Tennessee because that is where her relatives live. However, she eventually gives in and goes to Florida. This decision sets the stage for the rest of the story because if they had gone to Tennessee, they would have avoided the Misfit altogether.
The second time foreshadowing is used is when the family stops at Red Sammy Butts’ barbecue restaurant. They meet Red Sammy and his wife, who tell them about how a man tried to rob their place. This event foreshadows the robbery and murder of the family by the Misfit’s gang.
Finally, when the family has their accident, it is heavily foreshadowed by the grandmother’s behavior. She is constantly talking about how she needs to use the restroom, but she does not want to stop because she does not want to miss anything. This foreshadows her need to use the restroom when they have their accident, which ultimately leads to their being found by the Misfit.
While Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” may seem like a simply story at first, upon further examination, it is clear that she uses foreshadowing to hint at the events to come. By using strong imagery, she allows the reader to see the events unfold before they happen, making for a more enjoyable reading experience.
The death of the family, as well as the conversation between the Misfit and his grandmother, is described in these sections. The grandmother did not want to visit Florida; instead, she dressed up nicely for Sunday. She was attired in a navy blue dress with a tiny white dot print that had been embroidered over with a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet at her neckline.
The death of the family is also a form of foreshadowing. The Misfit says, “She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.” This shows that the grandmother was not really a good person, despite what she may have thought about herself. The conversation between the Misfit and the grandmother is also full of foreshadowing.
The grandmother tries to connect with the Misfit on a personal level, saying that he seems like “one of her own children.” However, the Misfit does not respond to this attempt at connection and instead tells her that she is going to die. All of these elements come together to create a sense of foreboding and dread that is fulfilled when the family is killed at the end of the story.
The following lines provide excellent foreshadowing imagery. The grandmother’s magnificent gown represents a readiness for her coffin, as she knows the conclusion of the tale. When someone dies, they are generally clothed in their finest outfit, similar to how the grandmother was dressed in what appeared to be her Sunday best when she passed away on the highway. A stronger foreshadowing is when O’Connor explains why the grandmother wears such an exquisite dress: “ Anyone seeing her dead on the road would know at once that she was a lady ,” he says.
The grandmother’s fear of being thought of as trashy if she was to die in a car wreck is humorous, but it also suggests that her death might be near. A final example of foreshadowing occurs at the end of the story. As the Misfit is about to shoot the grandmother, she has an epiphany and recognizes him. The Misfit says, “She would have been a good woman . . . if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”
This comment by the Misfit could be interpreted in two ways. First, the Misfit may simply be saying that the grandmother was not a good person because she was so judgmental. However, this statement could also be seen as a hint that the Misfit himself might have pulled the trigger and killed her if someone had not been there to stop him. In this way, the Misfit’s comment foreshadows the grandmother’s death.
Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is full of foreshadowing images and hints at the gruesome ending. From the very beginning, readers are given hints about what is to come. For example, when the family is packing for their trip, the grandmother tries to convince her son, Bailey, to take a different route to Florida so that they can visit some of her old friends.
Bailey refused, saying that he wants to take the highway because it will be faster. The grandmother then says, “I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like The Misfit on the loose. I’m responsible for them day and night, whether they’re awake or asleep.” This comment is foreshadowing the fact that the family will eventually run into The Misfit and be killed by him.
Another example of foreshadowing occurs when the family stops at Red Sammy Butts’ barbecue restaurant. Red Sammy is talking to the grandmother about how honest he is, and he says, ” A good man is hard to find.” Of course, this statement is ironic because The Misfit is actually a good man, but he is also very hard to find. This statement also foreshadows the fact that the grandmother will eventually meet her end at the hands of The Misfit.
There are many other examples of foreshadowing in the story, but these are just a few of the most obvious ones. As you can see, Flannery O’Connor uses foreshadowing to give readers a hint about what is to come.
She believes that she will die. She is unaware of this fact yet. O’Connor not only foreshadows the grandmother’s death, but also the deaths of the rest of the family. When they “went by a cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a little island.” (12), it is clear that there was foreshadowing of family’s death. It isn’t a surprise that there are “five or six” graves in the enclosure “like a tiny island,” because there are exactly “five or six” people inside the car.
This is not the only time that O’Connor uses this kind of specific foreshadowing. When they come across the house with “The Misfit” written on the mailbox, readers are again clued in to the fact that something bad is going to happen.
O’Connor does an excellent job of foreshadowing the events to come without giving too much away. This allows readers to be fully engaged in the story while still being surprised by the ending.
One example of foreshadowing in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is when the grandmother tells Bailey that she would kill herself if anything happened to him. This foreshadows her own death later in the story. Additionally, when the family passes by the cotton field with graves in it, this foreshadows the death of the entire family.
O’Connor’s use of foreshadowing creates a sense of suspense and allows readers to be fully engaged in the story while still being surprised by the ending.