Foreshadowing is a literary device that writers use to hint toward future happenings in the story. It often appears at the beginning of a story or a chapter. The main purpose of foreshowing is to help the readers develop expectations about future events in a story.
Foreshowing can be helpful to the authors when they craft their story to develop the plot, to add nuance and to build suspense. For example, if a character we were never introduced to ends up being a murderer, then the reader can feel unsatisfied and confused.
An author may use character dialogues to hint at future events. Any action or event may throw a hint about future actions or events. Even a chapter title or a title of work can act as a hint that suggests what is going to happen.
Examples of foreshadowing
John opened his drawer to find a note and a revolver. (Foreshadows warning)
In the middle of the night, the mother hears the back door opening. She rushes to her children’s room, but a masked man is blocking the way with a gun. (Foreshadows threat)
Ann sees her face under Joyce’s mask. (Foreshadows Joyce is her mother)
The purpose of foreshadowing is to create anticipation in the readers’ mind about what might happen next; therefore, it adds dramatic tension to a story.


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