Guide to Literary Terms

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Can you provide examples of foreshadowing and historical fiction from any book?

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I have provided a link below to a very short story that uses foreshadowing.  It is called "The Story of an Hour" and it is about a woman who has heart problems, and she is told that her husband has just died in a railroad disaster.  She weeps and goes up to her room and looks out the window.  The sky is blue, the birds are singing, and she starts to feel an emotion coming to her that she is afraid of.  Eventually, she gives in to this emotion-it is happiness, and a feeling of freedom.  She is happy to be free from marriage, and to be able to live for herself.  So, instead of mourning her husband's death (she is sad for him, a bit), she is happy to not be married anymore, because it allows her greater freedom.

There is foreshadowing in the following lines.  She looks out the window to see:

"the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves."

The scene of beautiful springtime, with sunshine and birds singing, and trees alive with "new life" all foreshadow her coming feeling of happiness at the news that she is no longer married.  The spring represents the new life she will have, alone.  Foreshadowing comes again when she describes her feelings:

"There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.  Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her."

This sense of foreboding at a hovering emotion foreshadows her feeling of elation that comes over her.  She is afraid of that emotion, because it is awful, considering her husband just died, but she is excited for it too, because she will finally feel free for the first time.

I recommend reading through the story, looking at the passages I have included, and seeing if they make sense for foreshadowing.  For historical fiction, try submitting another question, as this website allows for one question a day.  I hope that helps a bit!  Good luck!

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