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Effective Foreshadowing in Flannery O’Connor’s Greenleaf

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Effective Foreshadowing in Flannery O’Connor’s Greenleaf


“Mrs. May’s bedroom window was low and faced on the east and the bull, silvered in the moonlight, stood under it, his head raised as if he listened- like some patient god come down to woo her- for a stir inside her room. The window was dark and the sound of her breathing too light to be carried outside. Clouds crossing the room blackened him and in the dark he began to tear at the hedge. Presently they passed and he appeared again in the same spot, chewing steadily, with a hedge-wreath that he had ripped loose for himself caught in the tips of his horns. When the moon drifted into retirement again, there was nothing to mark his place but the sound of steady chewing. Then abruptly a pink glow filled the window. Bars of light slid across him as the venetian blind was split. He took a step backward and lowered his head as if to show the wreath across his horns.” (311)

An analysis of the introductory paragraph of Flannery O’Connor’s “Greenleaf” reveals how diction and text structure foreshadow Mrs. May’s fate and create a...


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