The Effects of Foreshadowing in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

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The Effects of Foreshadowing Of mice and men is a short but captivating novel by John Steinbeck. He uses many literary techniques in his novel, but one of the many that can keep his readers on their toes is foreshadowing. Steinbeck uses parallel structure to foreshadow upcoming events in the novel. Some readers feel that this technique makes the book predictable, therefore taking away interest, but others think this technique is what creates the excitement to see if their predictions turn out to be correct. Nonetheless the technique is one that shapes the book. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing with different components of his novel, one being the characters. When reading about Candy it’s obvious that he has a strong connection with his dog, “I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup.” (44). This connection and bond between Candy and his dog are similar to George and Lennie’s. George looks after Lennie in a similar way that Candy looks after his dog. “No, you stay with me. Your Aunt Clara wouldn’t like you running off by yourself, even if she is dead.” (13). People on the ranch look at the dog and are confused as to why Candy still is keeping it, the other workers looked at George and Lennie in the same kind of way since they think traveling together as a pair is odd. The two pairs both have a strong bond and friendship. In the very beginning of the book it becomes almost immediately apparent that George and Lennie are running from something, and that their style of life is leading up to unfortunate events for the two of them. When the pair are on the run and they stop on their road to the new ranch and they camp out in a setting that becomes a very important aspect of the story. George mentions their plan about owning their own... ... middle of paper ... them with his smell and ugly appearance. When Lennie gave them trouble they expressed that they wanted him dead, especially Curley. "I'm gonna get him. I'm going for my shotgun. I'll kill the big son-of-a-bitch myself. I'll shoot 'im in the guts.” (93). When it comes, Candy turns to George and says that he “shouldn’t have let no stranger” shoot his dog. Seemingly, Candy regrets what he has done. This is a major example of foreshadowing because it influences George’s decision later on in the novel when he decides to shoot Lennie himself, rather than leave it to the hands of Curley, whom he hated entirely. In conclusion, the elements of foreshadowing in the story are so similar to the last few exhilarating pages in the book that they effectively give away the ending of the novel. Overall the novel benefits from these elements used and is entertaining to read.
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