Foreshadowing in of Mice and Men

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Foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck is a Nobel Prize-winning author who wrote a breathtaking novel called Of Mice and Men, which is about two totally different friends named Lennie and George who travel together during the Great Depression. In this novel, he uses foreshadowing, a literary device that leaves people totally attached to the book. In the novel Leenie, a strong, tall, bulky but childlike man travels with his friend named George. Unlike Leenie, George is a small but quick and serious man.

Throughout the story, they have a dad and father like relationship. As they travel together to find a job, many problems come their way. From this, their dream of having a piece of land and not working for anyone could be ruined for both men. Leenie has a dream of tending rabbits since his dream is to tend the rabbits he kills mice with a strength that he does not know he even has. Even though both men would like to accomplish their dreams, could it be a possibility when the author is using foreshadowing?

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The inspiration for the book Of Mice And Men came from an allusion to a poem written by Robert Burns. In this poem Robert Burns finds himself destroying a mouse’s house. From these plans of the mouse go askew’, meaning now the plans are ruined for the mouse and he will suffer. As Lennie and George travel together, they find many of their plans going askew. An example of their plans going askew is when Lennie and George try to find a job, once they get a job many problems come their way. Leenie causes trouble for both of them. In document A, it also mentions how once the mouse’s plans go other directions and it leaves the mouse with grief and pain. As a result of this situation, this happens with both men, it leaves them with grief and pain.

Jus` wanted to feel that girl’s dress, just wanted to pet it like it was a mouse. Lennie likes to pet soft things and one of the things he likes to pet is mice, this is when his lacking of mentality and strength comes in the way of many problems. From Leenies lacking mentality and not knowing what he is doing comes situations of life or death. An example in document B would be when Lennie wanted to feel the girl’s dress, he considered it as soft as a mouse. From this, he is accused and George, the more mature, will have to find a way out of this situation himself. Leenie does not know his own strength that he causes many things to be broken or dead.

An example would be when Lennie receives a puppy, he doesn’t know his own strength and kills the puppy, he freaks out and his dream of tending the rabbits is now farther away from him now. Just as Lennie gets away from many problems, it will have to be paid back. This is when the author uses foreshadowing to predict the death of Curley’s Wife, she is considered a tart in the novel because, she gives the eye, too many men. As mentioned before Lennie likes to touch or pet soft things, this is when Curley’s Wife tells Lennie to pet or touch her hair. With his lacking mind and strength, he freaks out and kills her. This is when George will have used his strength to make the right decision of saving his friend.

Lennie and George have been traveling and working for almost all their lives to find a piece of land, but with many problems of strength, mentality, and doubts of dreamings coming their way it becomes less of reality towards them and other people. Their goal is to achieve a piece of land and not work for anybody, Lennie’s dream is to tend rabbits since he is always tending mice and killing them. Whenever Leenie is scared or is freaked about any problems he shows his emotions by asking George to tell him the story of how their future will be. Although they have this dream there can also be people doubting them.

Of Mice and Men Dreams

An example would be when Crooks, a colored and lonely man doubts their dreams. Leenie is like a child and forgets everything, one thing he never forgets is about tending rabbits. He does not notice but he starts talking to Crooks about their dreams. This is when Crooks does not believe in them and says he has seen many men come and go with the same dream. Even though they now have doubts about their dream, Candy, an old man, believes in the dream and even pitches int help them out. This is when the dream can be more of a reality. Leenie does not know his own strength this is when problems come their way. The death of someone causes their dream to fade away and it will not be a possibility for both of them.

In the novel, Lennie and George travel, many things happen throughout the novel such as death, this is a cause of many foreshadowing problems. As Lennie and George entered their first day of work they already have many problems in the bunkhouse. Fights and arguing happen. Many of the men in the bunkhouse are lonely, a guy that isn’t so lonely is an old man named Candy, this man is not considered lonely like most because he has his dog.

A dog that has been with him for a long time, many of the people are getting tired of the dog. A guy that gets tired is Carlson, he offered to shoot Candy’s dog in the back of the head. When the dog is dead he looks back and thinks of what just happened and that it’s his dog and mention in document D that he should have done it himself. From this, the author foreshadows many more deaths coming. Once Lennie killed Curley’s Wife, her husband is in the hunt to kill him. George being the bigger person and thinks about the relationship kills Lennie just like the dog in the back of the head. He does this to protect Lennie and himself from much more trouble in the future.

Foreshadowing used by the author is the cause of the many problems of the dreams of Lennie and George. It also just isn’t the main cause of the dreams it is also the main cause of how he used it to predict their weakness. It was used to predicts deaths and also strengths. Throughout the book, foreshadowing provides clues that the author would use in the next scene or chapter. Without foreshadowing the novel wouldn’t be as breathtaking. John Steinbeck used his creative mind and foreshadowing to write Of Mice and Men.

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Foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men. (2020, Jan 02). Retrieved from