Foreshadowing In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

1057 Words5 Pages

In the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and in the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, both authors use the literary device called foreshadowing to provide the reader a deeper understanding of the ending. Both Faulkner and Jackson use foreshadowing to engage and surprise the reader while establishing an unexpected plot twist. Emily Grierson was raised in the Old South and with the next generation she kept herself distant from the more modern community. This isolation prevents Miss Emily from having a typical relationship with men and causes her to act in a preposterous manner. In the beginning of “The Lottery,” the townspeople act very neighborly with each other and towards the end, there is a contradictory union …show more content…

The narrator explains to the reader, “So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell. That was two years after her father’s death and a short time after her sweetheartthe one we believed would marry herhad deserted her” (226). The decaying smell permeating Miss Emily’s property for a couple weeks is Faulkner’s first use of foreshadowing as the narrator lead us closer to Homer Barron’s death. When Homer Barron enters the town for construction work, him and Miss Emily spent many of their hours together and as the narrator explains, “…for almost six months she did not appear on the streets” (229). When Faulkner writes of Miss Emily purchasing a man’s silver toilet set engraved with the initials H.B. and a complete outfit, including a nightshirt, of men’s clothing, the reader assumes she is bringing them home for Homer Barron. Faulkner provides another example of foreshadowing as the narrator discloses that Homer Barron was last seen entering Miss Emily home. Miss Emily exerted a possession over Homer Barron and with the first signs of abandonment and disapproval, she became controlling just as her father did, ensuring she would not be left alone once again in her lifetime. This is when Miss Emily resorts to arsenic to poison Homer Barron, securing him by her side, preventing desolation and loneliness once more in her

Open Document