Of Mice and Men

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Moods: Powerlessness, helplessness
Especially in the first chapter Steinbeck foreshadows EVERYTHING that will happen in the book in the first chapter. Key event that builds the mood: The mood of powerlessness is shown and foreshadowed throughout the novel: "Of Mice and Men" in many ways. For example, Carlson killing Candy's dog. Carlson is a ranch hand and Steinbeck has DELIBERATELY made his character into the typical ranch hand that you would get in 1930s America. Steinbeck uses the event of Carlson killing Candy's dog as a way of setting the mood of powerlessness and to foreshadow Lennie's death at the end of the novel. For example, Lennie is killed because he can't fit in with the 1930s America migrant worker world, this is shown through dialogue where George mentions that him and Lennie had to flee Weed because he touched a girl's skirt and she saw it as rape. Lennie is also killed at the end of the novel because he accidently kills Curley's wife through no DELIBERATE intent, the fact that Lennie doesn't really know what he is doing emphasizes Steinbeck's mood of powerlessness, Lennie is going to be locked up no matter what he does and it also shows he can not fit in with their society. This bares a direct correlation to Candy's dog's death where Carlson (the typical ranch hand who symbolizes a typical ranch hand at the time - therefore he symbolizes typical society) distinctly says: "that dog stinks" and "you need to get rid of 'im" as the dog does not fit in with the norm (the "norm" is symbolized by Carlson) and therefore he is shot even though Candy begs Slim for him not to be killed because he loves the dog. These moments create the mood of powerlessness, helplessness and sadness in the novel because Steinbeck shows that no matter what Candy or George do, they are powerless to stop what happens.
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