Animal Symbolism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Words: 781
Pages: 4

Steinbeck’s Use of Animal Symbolism Foreshadows the Fate of Characters in Of Mice and Men
In John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men, the fate of characters is foreshadowed through animal symbolism to show that humans are physically and mentally similar to animals. An example of this are the similarities between Lennie and Candy’s dog foreshadowing a later death. As Lennie followed behind George with “large, pale eyes, with wide, broad shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little” (p.2), “a dragfooted sheepdog, gray of muzzle, and with pale, blind old eyes” (p.24) followed behind its owner. Both characters follow another person or in this case, a leader, but there are also similar characteristics that describes both of them
…show more content…
On page 97-98, the group of men, including Curley, represents the cats that are the chasing the rabbits. As cats are described as leading, assertive, aggressive, and competitive according to zodiac signs (Unexplainable), Curley best fits the description as “‘he’s alla time picking scraps with big guys’” (p.26). He represents a leading figure as the son of the boss and brings out his aggressive aspect whenever he feels like. While cats are considered more aggressive, rabbits are considered to be calm, but in a position of chaos, the rabbit remains calm if it has a plan, but panic hits when there is a lack of one (Senn). This relates to Lennie, as he was subconscious about his physical strength, he ended up killing a person. Lennie panics when “‘that’s the only thing that he can think to do’” (p.41) meaning that he does not have a plan about what to do next when something that he is not expecting happens. The aspect of aggressiveness in the cats closely bonds a relationship with Curley while the calm aspect of the rabbit bonds with Lennie leading back to the situation where cats chase the rabbits. Steinbeck uses the cats and the rabbits to foreshadow that Curley, the cat, would chase after Lennie, the rabbit, to