In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, foreshadowing is used throughout the whole book and gradually preparing us for the tragic end by constantly hinting about the inevitable tragedy that awaits the pair, especially Lennie Small.
In the beginning, the farm and the bond between George and Lennie presented to us is so beautiful yet strong. Foreshadowing already appears constantly in the first section of the book and Steinbeck stresses the doom that awaits the pair. The rabbits ran for cover immediately after the footsteps, hinting their American dream is getting away from them. We learn about Lennie’s deadly desire to stroke for soft things, and the dead mouse explains to us that the weak, innocent will not survive. The innocent soft things from mice to Lennie’s puppy all dies because of Lennie’s incapability to control his immense strength, which he has completely no idea how to control which makes him no less helpless than the animals he kills. George recounts the reason why they had to flee from the previous weed and we are made aware that similar ending will fall upon the one and only woman in the ranch-Curley’s wife.
In section two, Carlson’s belief that Candy’s old, useless dog represents to us the reality of this cruel world-the strong shall survive and the weak are unworthy. We all know that Lennie has mental disability and hence he cannot escape from this reality likewise. Another new character Curley is introduced to us, we are made to realize underlying threat this character would give. The pair manages to avoid Curley by sticking even closer to each other than usual. However, the only character which has relationship with Curley appears to be even a bigger threat. She is Curley’s wife, the only female in the ranch. When we link this to the incident in the previous weed, we can probably anticipate that Curley’s wife will be a victim of Lennie’s desire and strength.
At the third section, the lonely old man Candy overhears George and Lennie discussing their dream and joined it. Despite the fact that with Candy’s help the possibility of purchasing the farm grows more real for George and Lennie than ever before, George confesses that he and Lennie only share an insignificant amount of money and it is clear that tragic events will interfere. Steinbeck further foreshadows about the inevitable tragedy in the end with this section. From Lennie’s actions in Weed and his fight with Curley, it is seen that Lennie will use even more strength when frightened. Associating it with Lennie killing the mouse while petting it, these events let us foresee the tragedy of Curley’s...