Analyze the use of foreshadowing in More Joy in Heaven.

Foreshadowing is used in More Joy in Heaven to prepare the reader for the difficulties that Kip will face in his post-prison life and for his eventual death.

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Morley Callaghan appears to use foreshadowing often in his novel More Joy in Heaven. Throughout the book, a reader should be able to spot events, scenes, or developments that will hint at Kip’s ongoing struggles with post-prison life. One scene that seems to foreshadow Kip’s difficulty with adjusting to life after jail involves Harvey Jenkins. Jenkins runs the Coronet Hotel. He wants to hire Kip to be the hotel’s greeter.

Kip doesn’t want the position. “I don’t think I’d like it,” he says. “I’d be doing things every day that’d keep alive stuff I want to forget.” Kip tries to figure out another means of employment, but he ends up taking the job, which should alert the reader that Kip will not have an easy time putting his past life behind him.

Sure enough, Kip eventually runs into two former criminals, Joe Foley and Ike Kerrmann. Remarking on Kip’s publicity and proximity to money, Foley says, “We can do big things with this.” Kip calls Foley a “chump.” However, as with taking the job at the hotel, Kip’s contentious interaction with Foley should probably alert the reader that they haven’t seen the last of Foley.

A final use of foreshadowing involves death. Think about how Callaghan prepares the reader for Kip’s death (and perhaps Julie’s death as well) by having Kip’s mom die first. It’s as if the death of Kip’s mom sets in motion the tragic events that will end the book.

The mom’s death can also be seen as a different type of foreshadowing, like a red herring. Before she dies, Kip’s mom calls him a good son. What Kip is actually about to do is not good. Thus the foreshadowing here can be considered misleading, fallacious, or, again, a red herring.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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