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What are some examples of foreshadowing in "Charles?"

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sran12 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2012 at 12:52 AM via web

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What are some examples of foreshadowing in "Charles?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Foreshadowing is clues offered by the author to lead readers to define what is to come. Sometimes these clues are very obvious; other times, the clues are hidden. Readers must be able to "read between the lines" to find clues which are hidden.

In regards to Shirley Jackson's short story "Charles," many examples of foreshadowing can be found. Laurie's mother, from the very beginning, defines her son as changed (even as he walks out the door to his first day of kindergarten). Upon reentering, her son has changed even more. No longer the quiet child, he enters the house raucously shouting. Laurie's mother openly states that this is a new behavior.

As the first week of school progresses, Charles is disrespectful to his father, mean to his sibling, and loud. The behaviors seen by Laurie, while ignored by his parents, mirrors the behaviors seen in Charles. Engaged readers can pick up on the parallels laid by Jackson throughout the story.


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