Film Study: Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author hints certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story.  It can be very broad and easily understood, or it may be complex use of symbols that are then connected to later turns in the plot.

Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story and contains clues about what is to come:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of potential conflict between characters.
  • Look for signals that things might not be what the initially seem.
  • Pay close attention to any details that seem unusual or have particular emotional significance.

A hint that is designed to mislead the audience is referred to as a red herring. This is particularly the case with mystery writers, who want to bury clues to a mystery in information that is partially true and partially false.

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