May I please have an example of foreshadowing in quality literature? (I need a direct quote from the novel, and the author and title of the novel).

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a book with many examples of foreshadowing. 

There is an example in the very first chapter.  The narrator, Amir, is in California, recounting a conversation with an old family friend, Rahim Khan, who is in Pakistan.  During that conversaton, Rahim tells Amir, "There is a way to be good again" (2).  In conjunction with Amir's recollection of "unatoned sins" (1), the reader can see that the book is going to be about Amir making up for the sins of his past. 

In the second chapter, as Amir talks about his childhood in Afghanistan and his friendship with the servant child Hassan, he explains that his first word was "Baba," which means "father," and that Hassan's first word was "Amir."  Then he says,

Looking back on it now, I think the foundation for waht happened in the winter of 1975 - and all that followed - was already laid in those first words (11)

This is actually the second reference to the winter of 1975, but now the author is letting the reader know that whatever happens at that time is rooted in the relationship between Amir and his father and between Amir and Hassan. 

This is a wonderful book that most high school students enjoy reading.  You should try it! 

englishteacher72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having just looked at the twenty-eighth chapter in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird just last night, I am reminded of the scene where Jem and Scout are making their way home after the pageant.  It is nighttime, and they are all alone.  The entire scene is full of foreshadowing and suspense.  The children have almost made it to the big oak where they will be safe, since the street lights are up that way, but they keep hearing what sounds like someone walking behind them.  On page 299 in my version (Harper Collins), it reads:

      The night was still.  I could hear his breath coming easily beside me.  Occasionally there was a sudden breeze that hit my bare legs, but it was all that remained of a promised windy night.  This was the stillness before a thunderstorm.  We listened.

I italicized part at the end that really shows the foreshadowing.  On the next page, the children are attacked by Bob Ewell. 


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Foreshadowing is when an author sort of drops hints about what is going to happen later in the work.  The author usually does this symbolically, not by saying "this is similar to what will happen later in this book."

I'll pick "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck for showing symbolism since you're sure to be able to find that book in your school library.

The first example in my book comes from page 41 -- this is out of 107 pages, so you can sort of figure out where it should be in your edition.  It is where George tells Slim what Lennie did to the girl in the red dress in Weed.  It starts "Well, he seen this girl in a red dress."  And it goes on for about a paragraph.

This passage foreshadows how Lennie will kill Curley's wife in just about exactly the same way.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Juliet foreshadows her own death through the line:

Go ask his name.—If he be married,

My grave is like to be my wedding-bed.

She said this in Act 1, Scene 5 speaking to the nurse about Romeo. She was trying to use it as a hyperbole, or exaggeration, but ironically, she does indeed end up dying... over the issue of getting married... and is lain on a table in the Capulet's tomb. LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE CONNECTIONS! Romeo uses many moments of foreshadowing too

Hope that helps!

pfairhurst | Student

Charles Dickens in 'A Christmas Carol' writing about Scrooge's return home in Stave One -

" And then let anyman explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change: not a knocker, but Marley's face. "

Of course, the fact that Stave One is subtitled 'Marley's Ghost' is a bit of a giveaway.