Foreshadowing and Symbols in John Steinbeck’s Novel, Of Mice and Men

Foreshadowing and Symbols in John Steinbeck’s Novel, Of Mice and Men

Length: 630 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Back in the 1930’s, in Salinas, California, there were ranches on which men from all over the country worked. There is a story about the life of two men on those fields, working, as the author describes what happens to them through literary devices that help the reader understand the moral of it. In John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, masses of foreshadowing and symbols are used to higher the effect the story gives the reader.
In this novel, various symbols are used to enhance the overall meaning of what the author is trying to inform the reader about. For example, in this novel, one of Steinbeck’s uses of symbolism is in the beginning. “Uh-uh, Jus’ a dead mouse, George. I didn’t kill it. Honest! I found it. I found it dead” (5). This quote is taking effect after Lennie tries to inconspicuously take out the dead mouse from his pocket. Lennie didn’t murder the mouse, he just likes to pet soft things. Steinbeck has made the mouse the symbol for the soft objects Lennie likes to pet. Once after George demands that Lennie disposes of the mouse, they begin their journey to the new ranch they will be working on. Since Lennie always gets them both into trouble, George told Lennie not to verbalize when they got to the ranch. “He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid” (22). George is making up an excuse to the boss why he is answering the questions that are geared towards Lennie. This quote somewhat informs the reader why Lennie is the way he is. John Steinbeck illustrates his use of symbolism very well in this novel. He also demonstrates another literary device, foreshadowing, in this novel well too.
Of Mice and Men includes lots of foreshadowing which also helps improve how well the reader interprets the story. The use of foreshadowing in this piece of literature helps the reader predict what will happen later on. A way John Steinbeck uses foreshadowing in this novel is, “He wants to touch ever’thing he likes…so he reaches out to feel this dress an’ the girl lets out a squawk” (41). In this quote, foreshadowing is utilized by George telling the story on how and why, he and Lennie got kicked out of Weed, where they worked before they came to Soledad.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Foreshadowing and Symbols in John Steinbeck’s Novel, Of Mice and Men." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=179497>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

- John Steinbeck, the author, wrote the novel “Of Mice and Men” in 1937. The novel soon had two films encompassing it. One was made in 1939 and another in 1992. This paper will reference to the movie produced by Gary Sinise in 1992 and his vision of the story for the character. For the main plot by Sinise, is it very similar in how it was laid out by Steinbeck. However, the way the characters were executed in the film was what brought me to make the conclusions that the movie was not as great as the novel....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Of Mice and Men]

Research Papers
1640 words (4.7 pages)

Loneliness and Lenny in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

- The Great Depression was a period in the 1930’s when America was in a state of economic collapse. Poverty and unemployment were common, thus, leading to large amounts of migrant workers. The novel by John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, is set in the times of the Great Depression. Steinbeck had abandoned the romantic view of mankind s occupying a special place in nature or that man is guided towards special ends. He did not see man as special or particularly cared for. Of Mice and Men reflects this philosophy....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men]

Research Papers
621 words (1.8 pages)

Desire for Companionship in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Essay

- Imagine being discriminated against because of your ethnicity; or being the only woman on a ranch, stuck in a loveless marriage, when all you really want is someone to talk to. What about having to kill that friend, and bury all chances of breaking free from the life of the average migrant worker. How would you feel. These scenarios in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men illustrate the need and desire for companionship in life. There's Crooks, the negro stable buck; Curley's wife, whose marriage to Curley hasn't exactly been lively; and George and Lennie, whose friendship is strong enough to get them to a better life and out of the negetive cycle that the average migrant worker became trapped...   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men]

Research Papers
1749 words (5 pages)

John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

- Of Mice and Men In his novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck depicts the essential loneliness of California ranch life in the 1930s. He illustrates how people are driven to find companionship. There were so many moments of loneliness and sadness throughout the novel, including many deaths. Following the deaths, they were very unexpected making the novel more intense and latch onto it more. In the novel, Steinbeck leaves out a few names that kept the readers and I wondering what their names were instead of what they were referenced to....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Novella]

Research Papers
1117 words (3.2 pages)

Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck Essay

- The book, Of Mice and men is Fiction and was published in 1937.This book is by John Steinbeck he wrote twenty five books, including sixteen novel, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories. He was born in Salinas Valley, California, February 27, 1902. He was the third child of Olive Hamilton, former school teacher, and John Ernst Steinbeck, manager of Sperry Flour mill. He had two older sisters and one younger sister. When he turned four he was given a pony this was the inspiration for his later series of stories the red pony....   [tags: Great Depression, John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men]

Research Papers
1126 words (3.2 pages)

John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

- John Steinbeck’s Concept of Discrimination In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the protagonist George Milton and Lennie Smalls are travelling ranch hands working to save up money for a rabbit farm, but Lennie’s disability proves to be a major obstacle in the way of their American dream. John Steinbeck depicts different views of discrimination ranging from mentalism, racism, and sexism and uses characters like Lennie Smalls, Crooks, and Curley’s wife to represent these forms of discrimination. One example of a form of discrimination portrayed in Of Mice and Men, is mentalism....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Novella]

Research Papers
1156 words (3.3 pages)

Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck Essay

- John Steinbeck is the author of the Novel Of Mice and Men. The novel was written in 1937. It was set in Soledad in Southern California during The Great Depression. The book is about two men, George and Lennie, who move from town to town looking for work wherever they could find it. When they secured them a job, their dream come true seems to be just a step away; only if George can keep his friend from getting in to any sorts of trouble. Altercations come along and George cannot guard Lennie any longer....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Essay about John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

- John Steinbeck's “Of mice and men” Of Mice and Men is set along the Salinas River a few miles south of Soledad in the fallen world of the Salinas Valley, which Steinbeck places "east of Eden" the Promised Land is only a painful and illusory dream. This land is populated by "sons of Cain", men doomed to walk alone. One of the major themes that comes from this is loneliness, or fear of apartness. One of the themes of Of Mice and Men is that men fear loneliness, that they need someone to be with and to talk to who will offer understanding and companionship....   [tags: John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men]

Research Papers
979 words (2.8 pages)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay

- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck John Steinbeck was born on 27 Feb 1902 in Salinas, California, not far from the area where Of Mice and Men is set. He attended Stanford University, but never settled to one area of study and left without obtaining a degree. In his twenties, he pursued a varied working life, including that of an itinerant ranch worker, similar to the characters portrayed in the novel. His early writings had some success, and established him as an author interested in social problems....   [tags: John Steinbeck Mice Men Essays]

Research Papers
9607 words (27.4 pages)

Analysis of ‘Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay

- Analysis of ‘Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ‘Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck is a classic novel, tragedy, written in a social tone. The authorial attitude is idyllic, however, as the story develops it changes into skeptic. It is evident that Steinbeck knew the setting and places he is writing about. In my opinion Steinbeck drew the subject matter from his own experience of working on ranches, he was interested in special kinds of relationships among men working on ranches with him....   [tags: Mice Men John Steinbeck]

Research Papers
1483 words (4.2 pages)

By hearing this, the reader, knows that Lennie is almost like an obnoxious little kid, he needs to touch things that look nice to him. The way foreshadowing is used in this quote, is that Lennie has trouble knowing when to touch something he is supposed to and when he shouldn’t touch something. That can lead to a lot of dilemmas as the story progresses. For example, one of Steinbeck’s next uses of foreshadowing is, “You’ll kill him, the first thing you know” (43). This quote is talking about a little puppy. George has just confiscated it when he sees that Lennie brought him in their bunk house, and took it away from the puppy’s mother. The reader can infer that something is going to happen to the dog. Already, readers understand that Lennie has no control over his strength, so just by George saying that one line; the readers can hypothesize what will happen soon in the book. Overall, Steinbeck’s use of foreshadowing is very useful to the readers. It assists in unveiling events yet to happen at the end of the novel.
In Of Mice and Men, the creator, John Steinbeck, uses a mess of literary devices, some such as symbolism and foreshadowing, to increase the knowledgeable outcome the story delivers the reader. Foreshadowing and symbolism are used frequently through this novel and intensify the general meaning the author is trying to display through his work. Therefore, once after reading this novel, a reader can comprehend a lot about this novel because of the effect foreshadowing and symbolism put into it.


Works Cited
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Return to 123HelpMe.com