Foreshadowing
Cinderella is visited by a fairy godmother.

Foreshadowing

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Foreshadowing is a way that the writer incorporates hidden clues into their story that will help the reader to learn more about a character’s personality or about an event that will take place in the future or a string of hints that will reveal who is the possible villain.

Writers have all kinds of tricks that they can use to help keep their readers captivated. One of the techniques they use is known as foreshadowing.

Have you ever seen the movie “The Sixth Sense?” In it there are many foreshadowing moments such as a red door knob, an untouched glass at a restaurant, and a main character stating that sometimes people don’t know that they are dead.

Each of these events, and others, foreshadowed the ending when the lead character learned that he was, in fact, dead.

Many times the reader is unaware of the foreshadowing until well into the story or possibly even not until the end of the story. When they go back, they can then easily see the foreshadowing hints the writer gave them along the way.

Below are sentences that contain a foreshadowing hint from ten very well known storylines (many turned into movies). See if you can determine which of the four answers provided reveals what was foreshadowed.
1.
In the “Lord of the Rings” Frodo states that it was a “pity that Bilbo did not stab... Gollum.” Gandalf comes back with, “Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand… the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many - yours not least.”
Because Frodo would come to love the ring as Gollum loved it
Because Frodo himself found pity for Gollum and was unable to kill him
Because Frodo would be unable to understand the suffering of Gollum
Because Frodo would have to finish the story begun by Bilbo
In the story of the “Lord of the Rings” we learned about Bilbo’s possession of the ring and how he took pity on Gollum. Unable to understand the pity given, Frodo believes he would have no problem killing Gollum until he gets to know Gollum. When a chance arises for Frodo to kill Gollum he finds that he cannot. The writer’s foreshadowing in the line given by Gandalf foretold that Frodo would also show pity. Answer (b) is the hint revealed.
2.
Schindler frequently sees a little girl in a red coat.
Because he forgot to buy his daughter a new coat
Because she represented that he could not stay blind to the horrors of the holocaust
Because she represented the wealth of Germany
Because she represented his guilt of capitalizing on the death of Jews
Schindler was a very wealthy businessman during WWII. As Hitler’s reign grew and the Jews were placed into concentration camps, Schindler focused on how he could earn more money. Several times he saw a little girl in a red coat walking around. Later, he saw the same little girl in the red coat only this time she was lying dead. It was at this point that his eyes were opened to the truth of what was really happening. Schindler then dedicated himself to saving as many Jews as he could. The little girl in the red coat was a foreshadowing to Schindler that he could not remain blind to what was happening and to the horrors of the holocaust. Answer (b) is the correct hint the little girl in the red coat revealed.
3.
In “Psycho,” Norman Bates liked to surround himself with taxidermy (stuffed dead animals).
Because he had an obsession with death
Because he was an avid animal lover
Because they gave him comfort
Because he loved the field of animal medicine
In this familiar thriller, we have come to know how mentally unstable Norman was. He was a man obsessed with death. He even killed his own mother and embalmed her. The stuffed dead animals revealed at the very beginning of the story of “Psycho” was the writer’s foreshadowing of Norman’s deranged mental state and his obsession with death. Answer (a) is the correct hint revealed.
4.
From “Romeo and Juliet,” Juliet states to Romeo, “Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb: Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.” In reply, Romeo says, “And trust me, love, in my eye so do you.”
Because both are young and frightened of what the future holds
Because both will dismiss the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets
Because both will face deception
Because both shall soon be dead
In this very familiar story, the writer, Shakespeare, gives the reader many foreshadowing moments to let the reader know that in the end, both of these young lovers will die. In fact, the story opens with their funeral and yet many readers miss this. Here, in these lines, Juliet sees Romeo as pale in death and Romeo returns that he also sees her in death. Answer (d) is the correct foreshadowing hint given in these lines.
5.
In “The Dark Knight” (Batman series), Harvey Dent tells Bruce Wayne, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Because Dent knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman
Because Dent turns into a villain
Because Dent knows the identity of the Joker
Because Dent will die a hero
In this very popular storyline, Harvey Dent is a good person trying to get rid of crime and corruption. He is willing to fight for the right things until evil hits close to home and turns him into the very thing he fought against. He becomes a villain. The line the writer incorporated into the story foreshadowed Dent’s change from good to bad. Answer (b) is what the hint revealed.
6.
In the beginning of “Aliens,” the main character Ripley demonstrates how she can maneuver a powerloader.
Because she had to show the men that she was as tough as they were
Because she was the inventor of the powerloader
Because she would use the powerloader to defeat the alien
Because she was too weak to lift things without the powerloader
The powerloader was an enormous machine in which a person stood inside and used controls to move the powerloader around. It took skill and concentration to use the powerloader correctly. It enabled a person to have strength beyond one’s own personal strength. At the end of the movie, Ripley used the powerloader in order to defeat the alien. The writer incorporated the powerloader at the beginning of the movie as a hint to how the alien would be defeated. Answer (c) is the correct hint revealed.
7.
Superman must avoid coming close to Kryptonite.
Because it will remind him of his home world
Because it will reveal his true identity
Because it will explode
Because it will weaken his powers
In this familiar story, we have come to learn that Kryptonite weakens Superman’s strength. The writer’s incorporation of Kryptonite into the story is to let the reader know that Superman does have a weakness. Answer (d) is the correct hint that Kryptonite reveals.
8.
Cinderella is visited by a fairy godmother.
Because her stepmother was mean to her
Because she was worked like a slave
Because her life was about to change drastically
Because she was good in spite of her circumstances
The story of Cinderella is one of the most widely known stories. Her father has passed away and she is living with her stepmother and stepsisters who treat her poorly. When Cinderella’s fairy godmother shows up, Cinderella’s life begins to change. She is turned into a beauty to catch the Prince’s eyes. The writer used the fairy godmother to foreshadow how Cinderella’s life was about to drastically change. Answer (c) is the correct hint revealed.
9.
In “The Terminator” when a policeman shows up, John Connor’s dog begins to bark wildly in the background.
Because dogs are able to detect cybernetic infiltrators (Terminators)
Because the dog senses that John Connor is in trouble
Because the dog wants to be let outside
Because John Connor goes with the policeman and leaves without the dog
In the early part of this storyline we learn that dogs have the ability to be able to discern cybernetic infiltrators (Terminators). When the policeman shows up, the dog barks to warn John Connor of the true identity of the policeman. The writer used dogs to give the reader/audience a hint when danger was present. Answer (a) is the correct hint this foreshadowing revealed.
10.
In “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,” Obi Wan Kenobi tells Anakin, “Why do I get the feeling you’re going to be the death of me.”
Because Anakin constantly questioned the Jedi ways
Because Anakin turned to the dark side
Because Anakin wanted to be on the Jedi counsel
Because years later Anakin killed Obi Wan
In the “Star Wars” series, Obi Wan trains Anakin to become a Jedi. Anakin questions many things and eventually turns to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader. Obi Wan and other Jedi go into hiding. Years later Obi Wan and Darth Vader meet again and Darth Vader kills him. The writer used the line stated here as a foreshadowing that Anakin would, in fact, one day kill his mentor. Answer (d) is the correct answer.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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