The Role of Foreshadowing in the Prologue of Harry Mulisch's The Assault

The Role of Foreshadowing in the Prologue of Harry Mulisch's The Assault

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The prologue of a novel plays a crucial role in introducing the setting of the story. The prologue also sets the tone of the tale and can sometimes hide vital information from the reader. The art of foreshadowing is often used in the prologue, and after reading through the story, reverting back to the prologue can help connect the many themes and motifs that are prevalent throughout the narrative. A high-quality example of a prose with a prologue that is riddled with underlying foreshadowing is The Assault, by Harry Mulisch. By analyzing a single passage of the prologue and comparing it with other small potions of the text, the foretelling of events in the prologue of The Assault by Harry Mulisch can easily be related to how Anton believed the killing of his family was a simple affair, when in reality, it was a more complicated incident than
Anton could have fathomed.
During the prologue, the narrator spoke of when Anton used to hang out near the canal. It was at this point when Anton was ?lying on the grassy bank and staring in to the distance? that a numerous amount of foreshadowing occurred (Mulisch 5). The last thirteen lines of the prologue in The Assault, when the motorboat created a ripple effect, corresponded to how complicated the killing of Anton?s family really was. Anton saw the motorboat do the following:
Pitching, their prows would tear the water into a V shape that spread until it reached both sides of the canal. There the water would suddenly begin to lap up and down, even though the boat was already far away. Then the waves bounced back and formed an inverted V, which interfered with the original V, reached the opposite shore transformed, and bounced back again-until all across the water a complicated ...

... middle of paper ...

...d and left.
Mulisch?s use of foreshadowing in the prologue allayed to how the rest of the novel would play out. His hints gave a broad scope of how that fateful night seemed so simple, yet the underlying complexities led it to be a burden upon many people. The parallelism of the waves created by the motorboat and the cause and effect relationship of the night when Anton?s family was killed was prevalent throughout the novel. What Anton thought was a night that only affected him, in actuality affected many different people throughout the story. By reverting back to the prologue after the novel has been made and making connections throughout the book, the foreshadowing that Harry Mulisch used was clearly present. By analyzing a short and seemingly simple, yet deeply insightful, passage of the prologue, The Assault by Harry Mulisch can be understood at a higher level.

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