The foreshadowing effect in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find".
To foreshadow is to give a hint or a suggestion of a forthcoming event. Flannery O"Connor uses the foreshadowing effect adequately in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." There were many hints and suggestions that something unpleasant was going to happen in this story. The moment the grandmother first speaks of the misfit, we can assume he will show up later in the story because he is headed in the same direction as the family. Close to the ending, when the gunshots are heard from the woods, we can assume that the situation cannot get much worse.
The first hint of trouble comes early in the story before the first paragraph ends. The grandmother tries to show Bailey a newspaper article about The Misfit, who has escaped the penitentiary and is headed toward Florida. The grandmother tries to discourage Bailey from taking the family to Florida again by telling him he ought to take the children somewhere else for a change, but he disregards his mother and they go on the trip anyway. The probability that an escaped convict is headed in the same direction as Bailey and his family suggests havoc is coming their way.
O"Connor describes how the grandmother is dressed and says, "In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady"(221). In my opinion, this phrase suggests that the grandmother could be involved in an accident further into the story. Also, the grandmother cautions Bailey about driving too fast, so this makes me think he is speeding; consequently, this could lead to an accident.
The family arrives at Red Sammy's, so they go inside and are seated at a table. Red Sam comes inside and sighs, "You can't win" he said, "You can't win"(224), and then he goes on to say, "These days you don't know who to trust."(224). The grandmother agrees with Sam and seems to invite a conversation on the topic of trust with him.