Foreshadowing is a technique used continuously by John Steinbeck throughout his novel Of Mice and Men. Almost every significant event in the novel was used to foreshadow later events that affected George and Lennie in particular, and the deaths that occur later in the novel (such as the multiple deaths that occur throughout.) The purpose of the foreshadowing Steinbeck uses is to provide the reader with hints and clues as to what the outcome of the events of the story will most likely be. foreshadowing is also evident in revealing themes through characters such as Lennie and Curley’s wife who display themes of Loneliness, and human fragility.
Foreshadowing is portrayed throughout the novel Of Mice and Men, specifically conveying the theme of human fragility through several characters. These characters, when compared to the forces and circumstances that control their lives, are perceived as small and fragile. The American Dream is something that many of these characters wish to achieve but is always taken away from them quickly and never lasts. An example of foreshadowing that evidently conveys the recurring theme of human fragility derives from the opening scene through a conversation between George and Lennie, where George finds Lennie holding a dead mouse. “Uh-huh. Jus’ a dead mouse, George. I didn't’ kill it. Honest! I found it. I found it dead. Aw, leave me have it, George.” This displays how Lennie likes to pet soft things and despite them being dead, he still wants to love them. The foreshadowing used warns us of Lennie’s actions and how he may have acted unintentionally to hurt both animals( and people ), and his actions can be very dangerous and potentially fatal. His mental disabilities make him easily susceptible to danger from Curley or his wife. His inability to understand his own strength make it easy for him to get into trouble and to be misunderstood by others such as Curley. This foreshadows that Lennie will face many repercussions despite him being restricted by his limited intelligence and controlled by other forces. Forces that seek to ruin George and Lennie’s dream include Curley and his wife, who they encounter when they arrive at the farm. Lennie is vulnerable and Curley and Curley’s wife attack his vulnerability throughout the novel. George recognises the threat that they pose to Lennie and this is reflected in the book through George warning Lennie of the present danger "Look, Lennie! This here ain't no setup. I'm scared. You gonna have trouble with that Curley guy. I seen that kind before. He was kinda feelin' you out. He figures he's got you scared and he's gonna take a sock at you the first chance he gets." Lennie is very small and fragile when compared to the forces that control his human life, showing the theme of human fragility.
Curley’s wife is perceived by the males on the ranch as a deceptive cunning individual who later causes s serious problems for the two protagonists of the text, George and Lennie. While everyone in the farm looks down upon Curley’s wife and discriminates against her for being a woman, the responder gains an insight into her loneliness and how she has her own dreams that she wishes to achieve when she confides in Lennie. Her dreams, we realise are even more unrealistic than the rest of the character’ s dreams. The treatment she receives from the other workers and her own husband causes her to be isolated, and therefore seek attention from anyone she sees.
Foreshadowing is utilised when George mentions Curley's wife to Lennie warning him to stay away from her as she is troublesome.
“Well, you keep away from her, cause she's a rat trap if I ever seen one.”
This foreshadows Lennie's future actions as they describe Curley's wife as an animal for which Lennie has a liking . It foreshadows that Lennie will have an encounter with her and might go wrong as he may touch her more roughly, since he likes soft things and doesn’t control his own strength. This also notions that he won’t let go and may end up harming Curley’s wife similar to the incident that occurred in Weed where Lennie assaulted a woman in a red dress because he thought her dress was pretty and wanted to feel it. The woman accused Lennie of attempting to rape her and George and Lennie had to run for their lives out of town. This sho