Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men Essay

Foreshadowing is a writer’s use of hints or clues to indicate what will occur later in the story. Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men contains many examples of this technique. Steinbeck begins, in the opening scene of the novel, to reveal the central conflict in the plot - Lennie’s great strength and his inability to not “do bad things.” This flaw eventually catches up with the pair and everything that Steinbeck has foreshadowed materializes in the final scene of this tragic story. The moment that Curley’s wife was introduced it indicated that Lennie would be getting into a mess with her. George states in the very beginning of the book that Lennie is always getting into mishaps, “You do bad things and I have to get you out.” The situation in Weed involved a girl, and Curley’s wife just happened to be the only girl on the ranch. Later on, there was intimation that she was going to be killed by Lennie because he killed the mouse and the puppy, leading to better deaths such as Curley’s wife. The facts that the death of Candy’s dog and the death of Lennie are identical, reflects on the way Lennie was killed. He was shot in the back of the head just like Candy’s dog. Candy told George that he should of shot his dog himself. This made George kill Lennie himself, instead of dying by a stranger like Candy’s dog. Another example of foreshadowing is the dead mouse in Lennie’s pocket at the beginning of the novel. This foreshadows that Lennie will harm other things as well. This comes true when Lennie kills the puppy and then Curley’s wife. Lennie means no harm; he’s just unaware of his strength. Steinbeck used foreshadowing to make the book Of Mice and Men more than a book. He made it where the reader can predict what will happen before it happens, through hints from the book. Curley’s wife’s death was foreshadowed by Lennie being a trouble maker, his death was foreshadowed by the death of Candy’s dog.

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