Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find is a story that is fraught with tension and suspense. The reader is never quite sure what is going to happen next, and O’Connor uses foreshadowing to great effect to keep the reader guessing.
One of the most obvious examples of foreshadowing in the story comes near the beginning, when the grandmother tells Bailey that it would be a good thing if they didn’t find the house they were looking for. This sets up a sense of unease in the reader, as it seems clear that something bad is going to happen.
Later on in the story, there are several instances of foreshadowing that foretell the bloody ending. For example, when the family stops at Red Sammy’s barbecue restaurant, Red Sammy tells them about how he was robbed by a “nigger” who came into his store. This sets up the idea that there is danger lurking, even in seemingly safe places.
Another instance of foreshadowing comes when the grandmother sees the Misfit’s car coming down the road. She has a sense of foreboding and tries to warn Bailey and the others, but it is too late. The Misfit and his gang end up killing everyone in the family.
O’Connor masterfully uses foreshadowing throughout A Good Man Is Hard To Find to keep the reader on edge and create a sense of suspense. By doing so, she creates a story that is both captivating and disturbing.
In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” the unexpected violence at the tale’s conclusion is striking. However, if one re-reads the tale a second time, certain signals of foreshadowing will emerge. In this narrative, O’Connor utilizes vivid imagery to hint at the characters and situations that occur throughout it. There are three distinct occasions when she employs this method.
The first time is when the family is driving to Florida. Bailey, the father, sees a sign that says “Holly House” and he gets angry and makes his wife turn the car around. He says that he doesn’t want to go to a place called “Holly House.” This foreshadows the events later in the story when the family is actually in “Holly House” and they are killed by The Misfit.
The second time is when the grandmother talks about Jesus saving people from their sins. She tells her granddaughter that Jesus will save them all because he is a good man. This foreshadows the fact that The Misfit, who kills them, believes that he is a good man.
The third time is when the grandmother says that she knows The Misfit is a good man. She says this right before he kills her. This foreshadows the fact that The Misfit is going to kill her.
All of these examples show how O’Connor uses foreshadowing to hint at the events that will occur later in the story. By doing this, she creates a sense of suspense and anticipation for the reader.
O’Connor not only depicts the grandmother’s impending death, but she also foreshadows the deaths of the rest of the family. When they “came upon a cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the center, like a little island,” it was clear that the family’s demise was being foreshadowed.
This symbolizes how the family will eventually die and be buried in a cotton field. O’Connor also uses foreshadowing when the grandmother is talking to the children about Jesus. She says “He’s coming back again someday” and then “And He’s going to get those wicked people.” This shows that the grandmother knows that something bad is going to happen to the family, but she is in denial. O’Connor does an excellent job of using foreshadowing throughout the story in order to hint at the climax, which is the family’s deaths.
The following lines contain a clear foreshadowing. The grandmother’s ornate outfit represents a prelude to her coffin, since she knows the conclusion of the tale. When someone dies, they are generally dressed in their finest clothing, similar to how the grandmother was attired in what appeared to be her Sunday best when she died on the highway. “In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady” is one way O’Connor describes the grandmother’s lovely dress.
This statement not only shows the readers that the grandmother is aware of her impending death, but also fate’s role in her death. The grandmother knows that she will die, and there is nothing she can do to stop it.
The foreshadowing in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” does not stop with the grandmother’s clothing choice. O’Connor also uses dialogue to hint at the events to come. For example, when the family stops for gas, the Misfit enters the story. The Misfit is a criminal who has escaped from prison. He is a dangerous man, and the grandmother instantly recognizes him.
She becomes very nervous and scared when she sees him, but she does not want to let on that she is afraid. O’Connor uses the grandmother’s fear of the Misfit to foreshadow her death. The readers know that the grandmother is going to be killed by the Misfit, and her fear of him is just a taste of what is to come.
O’Connor’s use of foreshadowing in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” creates a feeling of suspense and tension in the story. The readers are constantly waiting for the next event that will lead to the grandmother’s death. O’Connor does an excellent job of slowly revealing details about the characters and their fate. This builds anticipation until the climax of the story, when the grandmother is finally killed.
The grandmother’s statement that the plantation has “gone with the wind” may be seen as an image foreshadowing and symbolism of the family’s situation at the conclusion of the narrative. Their spirits are “gone with the wind’ in death. Finally, a foreshadowing picture is presented in the Misfit and grandmother’s conversation towards the end. He asks, “Does it seem correct to you, lady, that one is severely punished while another isn’tpunished at all?”
The grandmother replies “It most certainly does not seem right!”. This is the first time that the reader sees the Misfit’s human side as he begins to question the inequity of his own life. The grandmother has unknowingly provided him with the justification he needs to kill her. A Good Man is Hard to Find is a prime example of foreshadowing in Flannery O’Connor’s work. She skillfully uses foreshadowing to hint at the violent ending of the story. Each image, conversation and detail in A Good Man is Hard to Find prepares the reader for the gruesome finale.