The first time I looked at the story I did so only because it was assigned to me as homework. I ultimately found myself reading quickly, and not actively reading in the slightest way. Eventually however, I began to wonder whether or not “good” was going to prevail over “evil”. My burning curiosity and natural need for information was not satisfied with my initial sub-par reading. Upon closer and much more active reading I discovered Flannery O’Conner uses wonderful foreshadowing throughout the story to predict the ultimate demise of the grandmother and her family.
The first bit of foreshadowing I would like to discuss is when June Star says “she wouldn’t stay home for a million bucks”… “Afraid she’d miss something. She has to go everywhere we go”. This statement is connected to the fact that the grandmother follows the family, even to their deaths.
The second example of foreshadowing that really caught my eye was in the passage “they passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it.” In the story, John Wesley and June Star both find the graves interesting. I also find it thought-provoking for the reason that the six graves correlate exactly to the six membe...
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...he grandmother’s death. And switching perspective at the end was the only option.
Though the grandmother dies in the end, O’Connor’s use of foreshadowing, characterization, and a distinct point of view lead me to believe this is the beginning of a different life for The Misfit. After he kills the grandmother The Misfit immediately starts cleaning his glasses, an indication that he sees the world in a different way. He had originally thought there was no pleasure in anything but cruelty, eventually the Misfit decides “It’s no real pleasure in life.” He had wanted to see Jesus raise the dead more than anything, and The Misfit ultimately got his wish; the grandmother had a last minute relief from her unbearable pomposity and then died, presumably redeemed. And the Misfit finds a glimpse of human empathy and compassion from the last woman we would have expected it from.
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