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Foreshadowing exists when an author provides clues or hints to suggest events that will occur later in the story. In regards to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," many events foreshadow what is to come.
-"Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones." The fact that Bobby has "already" placed rocks in his pockets shows that they will be used later in the story.
-"They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner." This illustrates that the rocks will be used for something negative. The villagers do not wish to even be near the rocks.
-"Black box now resting on the stool." The color black typically represents death. By the papers being drawn out of the box, each has the possibility of bringing death to the person who draws each paper out.
-"Mrs. Hutchinson said, grinning, 'Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you, Joe?'” This foreshadows that Tessie will be the one to "win" the lottery. Since she cleaned up her dishes, they will not be left in the sink.
Essentially, one looking to identify foreshadowing can go back after the initial reading and look for clues in the text which show what is to come. At times, this proves to be easier than identifying foreshadowing during an initial reading because a reader does not know what the ending will bring.
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