Foreshadowing In "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

Essay by JynxMiSmthngCrzyHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

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John Steinbeck uses foreshadowing through out the story of "Of Mice and Men" to prepare the reader for the final scene. Foreshadowing is the composition of layered hints or clues about what may happen in the future of the story. Early in the story, these lines or events suggest a wide range of possibilities to the audience. But as the story progresses, the range narrows. In order for the impact of foreshadowing to be effective, the audience has to be both surprised by the climax of the story and find it logical. The logic comes from foreshadowing. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing in the course of "Of Mice and Men" by pulling together past events in the story, to build to the ending impact and overall importance and effect of the final scene.

In the first chapters, it is apparent that Lennie is a simple minded man who likes to pet things that are soft and delicate.

George and Lennie are traveling through to the farm for work. They had to escape from the town they were previously at because Lennie had an incident with one of the women in the town. He was a rather large, frightening fellow. He went up to a young women because the beauty of her dressed marveled him. Just as he did with mice, he insisted on touching it. That is all. Because of her frightened screams, he grabbed onto the dress and did not let go out of fear and panic. This led him into much trouble and the townspeople to go after him. George took Lennie and they escaped the town. This is foreshadowing to the ending scene because once again, Lennie just had to have a touch and once again, led him to trouble that even George could not fix.

When Carlson insisted...