Take a little peek into the future. Though seeing the future is impossible, foreshadowing makes it possible. It is possible to see just a little bit of the future with foreshadowing. It is required to take a guess, but foreshadowing makes it possible to make a better prediction. John Steinbeck foreshadows a lot. Most events in “Of Mice and Men” are used to foreshadow important plot points.
One event that is foreshadowed is Lennie wrecking the dream and messing everything up. One example of this is displayed when George and Lennie are sitting in the field. George tells Lennie, “‘An’ you ain’t gonna do no bad things like you done in Weed, neither’” (Steinbeck 7). This shows that Lennie has gotten into trouble before, so it is likely that he will get into trouble again, therefore messing everything up. Another time this is shown is when George tells Lennie to hide in the brush. George says, “‘Lennie- if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before…’” (Steinbeck 15). So, it is assumed that no matter where they go, what town they go to, Lennie always gets them into trouble, one way or another. If this happens in every town, it is expected that Lennie is going to get them in trouble at this new place. Additionally, while Slim and George are talking about Lennie, George says, “‘There ain’t no more harm in him than a kid neither except he’s so strong’” (Steinbeck 43). It stands to reason that what has always gotten him into trouble is his strength, so logically, his strength will get him in trouble again. Foreshadowing was used multiple times to show that Lennie will end up messing everything up.
Another event that is foreshadowed is Lennie killing the puppy that Slim gives him. For instance, as Lennie is talking to George about the mice his Aunt Clara gave him, George says, “‘You always killed them’” (Steinbeck 9). He is saying that Lennie always killed the pet mice Aunt Clara gave him. If he killed all his pet mice, then he will most likely do the same to any other pet he gets. Also, in that same scene, Lennie is explaining how he killed all those mice. He says, “‘I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I’d pinch their heads a little and then they was dead…’” (Steinbeck 10). It is clear that when the animals play with him, he plays back and then they are dead. Since dogs like to play a lot, especially puppies, the puppy will probably play with him and end up dying. The last example of this is when they hear about Slim having the puppies, when Carlton and Slim were talking about killing Candy’s dog and giving him one of Slim’s puppies. Lennie asks George to see if they can get a puppy from Slim. George says, “‘I heard him Lennie. I’ll ask him’” (Steinbeck 36). Reasonably, they will most probably get a puppy. Lennie cannot kill the puppy if he does not have one. The death of the puppy is foreshadowed.
Also, Candy’s dog being shot was foreshadowed. This is shown once while the men are in the barn, playing cards, Carlton is talking about shooting the dog. Carlton says, “‘Why’n’t you get Candy to shoot his old dog…’” (Steinbeck 36). This shows that he was trying to convince Slim to get Candy to shoot the dog. He asked Slim because what Slim says goes. This foreshadows the dog being shot because it shows that some people on the farm want the dog dead, so it will probably end up being dead. Also, this is shown when Candy’s dog walks into the barn. The book says, “…ancient dog walked lamely through the open door… mild half blind eyes…” (Steinbeck 37). This reveals that the dog was useless and old. Usually, when dogs are useless, old, or both, the owner puts the dog down, just like Candy does. Furthermore, as Carlton is trying to convince Candy to shoot the dog, he says, “‘He ain’t no good to you… he ain’t no good to himself. Why’n’t you shoot him Candy?’” (Steinbeck 44). Because of the fact that most people put dogs down when all the dog is doing is harming