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What is foreshadowing in Literature?  

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vshch | Honors

Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:27 PM via web

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What is foreshadowing in Literature?


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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:48 PM (Answer #1)

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Foreshadowing is when there is a hint given earlier on in the text that makes reference to something that happens later in the story. Sometimes a foreshadow, or hint, can be obvious and others are not so obvious. One obvious foreshadowing can be found in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" at the beginning of the play. "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life" (Prologue.6) bluntly tells the audience what will happen before the play even starts.

A less obvious example of foreshadowing can be found on the first page of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, where Holden says,

 "I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here to take it easy" (1).

"Madman stuff?" "To come out here to take it easy?" Here Holden is mentioning things that the reader has no clue about in the beginning but will understand by the end after everything is revealed. Sometimes a reader won't notice a foreshadow until later after the whole story is revealed. At that point, it is fun to go back to the foreshadow that was presented earlier on and reread it to get a better perspective on why the author wrote the story that way.


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