In the story, the grandmother is the character that symbolizes the most foreshadowing elements. O"Connor deliberately puts this story mostly in third person, through the grandmother's eyes to emphasize foreshadowing. The grandmother is the one who introduces the Misfit and is the first to recognize him. In the end, it will be the grandmother who will be the cause that leads the family to their terrible fate. .
The family is deciding to travel to Florida for their family vacation, but then the grandmother cuts in, trying to divert the family to Tennessee instead. The misfit, as the grandmother tells her son in the beginning, is an escaped convict who is headed toward Florida. Being the horrible family they are, they completely ignore the grandmother's warnings, and despite the fact, the whole family starts on a road trip toward Florida. This foreshadows the family's doom that would be inevitable at the end because they rather go to Florida instead of trust the grandmother and go to Tennessee. The very next day, the grandmother is the first one in the car. The grandmother's outlandish southern clothing and appearance is elaborately described with vivid imagery and detail, which the reader soon discovers why. "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." This directly foreshadows the family's demise because the grandmother was dressed-up to meet the family's coming fate, death. Before they leave, however, the grandmother stows her cat, Pitty Sing, in a basket in the car because she "was afraid he might brush against one of the gas burners and accidentally asphyxiate himself." This is the third time the theme of death has been repeated before the family even left the house, and this theme of death directly foretells the family's coming end. .
Finally out on the road, the family meets several more occurrences that directly hint at the family's coming doom.