This book is about two friends who face the challenges of humanity in the world around them. In this book Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to give the reader is hints or clues about the other events in the story. John Steinbeck’s use of foreshadowing with the event of the killing of Candy’s dog and Lennie’s pattern of killing mice. John Steinbeck’s use of foreshadowing throughout the book indicates that Lennie’s death and the death of Curley’s wife is inevitable.
In the beginning of the book Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck purposely adds certain details to hint at the later outcome of the book. Throughout the book the background given about the character Lennie foreshadows his actions in the future. Early in the book Lennie comments, ” I’d pet ’em and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they were dead- because they was so little.” (Steinbeck 10) Lennie is reasoning with George, justifying why he accidentally ends up killing the mice. The importance of this moment is explaining Lennie’s past with small living creatures, and foreshadows how Lennie does not know the extent of his strength and how that comes into play with Curley’s wife’s death.
Later in book Steinbeck uses the relationship of another two characters to foretell the difficult decision George is making with the part he plays in Lennie’s death. Candy admits “I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t oughtta of let no stranger shoot my dog.” (Steinbeck 61) The relationship between Candy and his dog is similar to the relationship between Lennie and George. George and Lennie are always together. They travel together, work together, and George has looked after Lennie for what seems like a long time. When everyone turns against Lennie like they all did with Candy’s dog, George has to accept the decision that Lennie will be murdered either by him or a stranger. George is choosing to kill Lennie himself because he knows that in Lennie’s last moments he will die at the hands of someone he loves and trusts rather then out of spite by a stranger.
Steinbeck uses foreshadowing in the course Of Mice and Men by pulling together past events in the story to build the ending impact and overall important and effect of the final scene. At the beginning Lenny gets in the middle of mass confusion when he approaches a woman and tries to stroke her soft dress. George then collected Lennie and they both escape town. This is foreshadowing to the ending scene because once again Lennie just had to have a touch and once again it lead him to trouble that even George could not fix. Another example of foreshadowing is when Carlson kills Candy’s dog who was past his time. Candy said he should have been the one to do it. This foreshadows George decision with Lennie. Although he needs to do it it is just too painful.