What are some examples of foreshadowing in "Charles?"

2 Answers | Add Yours

literaturenerd's profile pic

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

Posted on

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.


We’ve answered 315,880 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question