Jake Holland Tom Farr English 1A 5/4/18 Foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men The use of the literary strategy foreshadowing is used in a very impactful and resourceful way in the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men
The use of the literary strategy foreshadowing is used in a very impactful and resourceful way in the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. At first, in the book Of Mice and Men, the smaller events in the story seem like little gems spread about to give flavor to the novel, the reader suspects nothing of a relationship between those and events to come. The inconspicuous nature of each little piece of seemingly random side story is placed as to only foreshadow very specific events in the later half of the book. But even less realized is the subtle fact that each foreshadowed event is coated in the same exact sorrow, as they are all connected.
As an example, George tells Lennie, “‘Well, look. 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.’ ‘Hide in the brush,’ said Lennie slowly. ‘Hide in the brush till I come for you. Can you remember that?'” (Steinbeck, 15.) He is foreshadowing that Lennie will need to come back to the spot in the brush because he has either done something bad or is in trouble in some other way.
Also foreshadowing an event, or rather incident, later in the book is during the conversation between Candy and George about Curley. Candy was talking about Curley’s tendency to fight saying that he is “handy.” George then proceeds to tell Candy that, “‘Lennie ain’t no fighter, but Lennie’s strong and quick and Lennie don’t know no rules.'” (Steinbeck, 27.) Foreshadowing yet another incident, this tells the reader that Lennie will eventually get in some sort of trouble with Curley, and that they will end up finding. It also tells that the end result will most likely not be in Curley’s favor. Also pertaining to Curley, his wife getting into a bad situation with Lennie is foreshadowed when George drills into Lennie not to even go near her.
Finally, when Carlson talks about Curley’s dog saying that he’s old and failing stating, “‘Look, Candy. This ol’ dog jus’ suffers hisself all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head—’ he leaned over and pointed, ‘—right there, why he’d never know what hit him.’ … … ‘He don’t have no fun,’ Carlson insisted. ‘And he stinks to beat hell. Tell you what. I’ll shoot him for you. Then it won’t be you that does it.'” (Steinbeck, 45.) This tells of another time when someone else will be killed in the same way because of the way they affect others around them. Using a little inferencing with this knowledge tells the reader that the person who is killed is to be Lennie.
The foreshadowing used in the story is not only made to be subtle, but also to be sad and sorrowful in every way. The jewels of story are utilized as tools in the making of a sadly impactful book ending. Of Mice and Men is truly a work of art when it comes to foreshadowing.