Foreshadowing in of Mice and Men

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Brooke Ahonen
Ms. Phillips
College English 10
18 November 2012

Foreshadowing in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
The word foreshadow is a literary term used to describe how the author discreetly gives clues to the reader of the events later to occur. The touching realistic fiction novelette Of Mice and Men is written by John Steinbeck. George and Lennie, two men who have become close friends over time, travel together to a ranch to pursue their dream as a team. George is considered to be Lennie's caretaker, for Lennie is mentally challenged. Throughout the novelette Of Mice and Men, foreshadowing takes a considerable role in the most important chapters of George and Lennie's journey together. The events that develop foreshadow other events that will echo the primary event in a distinctive way. John Steinbeck uses foreshadowing and other literary elements as the structure of his many literary works of art. The three events that foreshadow the future are George telling Lennie to return to the river if trouble occurs, Candy having to kill his dog, and a heron killing a snake.

In the beginning, when George and Lennie are at the river, George tells Lennie to return to that exact location to silently hide in the brush and wait for him if he gets in any trouble. Lennie has done bad things in the past, and George wants to make sure that Lennie has somewhere to go that's out of harm's way. “ 'Lennie – if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush' ” (15). In the past, Lennie has gotten into trouble while working on a ranch, and both George and Lennie didn't have anywhere to go. George knows that Lennie is bound to have history repeat itself, and make the same mistakes, so he tells Lennie to remember where the river is located. George's action foreshadows that later on, Lennie will have to return to the river. George makes sure that he can get Lennie away from any danger that can harm him, but...
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