Flannery O"Connor's Magnificent Use of Foreshadowing .
Foreshadowing is a literary technique used by many authors to provide the reader with a glimpse of future events that will transpire within the work, thereby hooking the reader into the story and retaining the reader's full attention. Flannery O"Connor, in her short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find," brilliantly utilized vivid imagery and twisted irony to foreshadow the fate of the entire family. The gruesome ending to this story is, perhaps, the reason O"Connor placed such great emphasis on foreshadowing. "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is pregnant with religious symbols and metaphors, and fearing that leaving out such violence to protect the squeamish would alter the message of grace and redemption that she was trying to convey, she opted to gradually set the reader up for it by placing clues of the family's demise throughout the work. From the beginning of the story, the reader has a useful idea as to what to expect as the story progresses. By implementing the foreshadowing technique, O"Connor has not only gained the reader's interest, she has also provided the reader with insight to the ending so that, shocking as it is, it is not completely surprising.
As the story commences, we learn that the central character, the grandmother, is trying to dissuade her son, Bailey, from taking the family on a vacation to Florida. The grandmother desperately wants to go to eastern Tennessee, to visit some people she knows there. Seemingly willing to go to any lengths necessary to convince Bailey that Tennessee would be better, the grandmother, According to Stephen C. Bandy, author of "`One of My Babies": The Misfit and the Grandmother," found in Readings on Flannery O"Connor, "does not hesitate to dangle before his eyes the horrifying prospect of his children's deaths" (129): .
Now look here, Bailey see here, read this Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people.