How Steinbeck Foreshadows the Death of Lennie in Of Mice and Men

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In the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, foreshadowing is used to give the readers an idea to what could happen towards the end of the book. There is slight reference, which hint slightly, and also direct parallel of the situation, with Candy and his dog.

There are episodes in the novel where Lennie’s physical strength and childlike incompetence, which are presented to emphasise the instinctive threat, which he poses. When George talks of what happened in Weed, he proclaims that Lennie gets all “mixed up”, when something goes wrong, “he holds on, ‘cause that’s the only thing he can think to do”. This gets Lennie into many dangerous situations throughout the book. Lennie has a curiosity with ‘red’, this is advertised throughout the novel, this behaviour he more associated with the behaviour of a child, rather than an adult. Lennie’s desire to touch the ‘red’ dress is not a conscience assault, but the disorientation in Lennie’s head, makes him unable to control the situation, which ends badly.

Something similar happens when Curley attacks Lennie. Once again, Lennie’s puzzlement of the situation goes against him when Curley reaches to punch Lennie, as he “simply held on to the closed fist”. Even though is seems Lennie is in control of the situation, as Curley is “flopping like a fish”, Lennie is scared and “watched in terror”.

Lennie’s need for security is also shown in his desire to have something small to pet, this is similar in the way a child has a teddy bear for comfort, as Lennie is keen to hold the dead mouse, as it gives him some sense of security. Lennie is unaware what it means for the mouse to be dead, so his ignorance is coordinated to something sinister from the beginning. Later on, Lennie again seeks security in the responsibility of caring for a small animal, the ‘pup’, and his dream to “tend the rabbits” on the farm, which he hopes to share with George. Lennie kills the puppy unintentionally. When he is playing with the pup, he hits...
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