Litearry Analysis

879 words - 4 pages

The classic novel Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck has resonated with readers for generations. Steinbeck’s poignant use of literary elements highlight the negative aspects of the human condition. His use of foreshadowing, imagery, and symbolism assist in outlining these issues.
Foreshadowing occurs frequently throughout the novel. One example is the parallel between Candy and his dog, and George and Lennie. Candy’s dog had been suffering for a very long time, and the most humane thing was to put him down and relieve him of future misery. Candy, however, can’t bring himself to do it, so Carlson shoots the dog instead. Afterwards, Candy tells George, “I ought to have shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t have let no stranger shoot my dog” (Steinbeck 60). His words foreshadow George’s decision to kill Lennie. Lennie had been reckless and hurting people unknowingly for a very long time. When he killed Curley’s Wife, the most humane thing for George to do was kill him first, and not subject Lennie to what the other men would do to him. George learned from Candy’s mistake, and decided to do it himself. The decision to or not to murder your best friend or companion is a very dark, heart wrenching decision that these characters are forced to make. Another example of foreshadowing is seen in the conflicts between Lennie and Curley. Curley is initially very intimidated by Lennie’s size and strength. It causes Curley to lash out and try and attack Lennie. Lennie unconsciously breaks Curley’s hand during this exchange, similar to the way Lennie killed Curley’s wife. Wary of the consequences of future fights, George warns Lennie, “If he tangles with you Lennie, we’re gonna get the can. You try to keep away from him, will you? Don’t never speak to him. If he comes in here you move clear to the other side” (Steinbeck 29). The next conflict between these characters occurs when Lennie kills Curley’s Wife. Curley immediately wants to kill Lennie, but Lennie has already ran away. The conflicts between Curley and Lennie show how much harm humans can do accidentally, and how often it can occur. The elements of for
Imagery is also used throughout the novel to emphasize that loneliness and vulnerability are simply a way of life. In almost every chapter in the book, a few paragraphs are used to describe what’s going on in the scene. Often, they set up the scene. After Lennie runs away after killing Curley’s Wife, Steinbeck opens the next chapter describing the calm pond, which contrasts from...

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