In Of Mice and Men, what event in the novel foreshadowed the conclusion in which Lennie killed Curley's wife?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One could look back as early as chapter one, in Of Mice and Men, in order to find clues which could foreshadow Cruley's wife's murder by Lennie.

“Jus’ wanted to feel that girl’s dress—jus’ wanted to pet it like it was a mouse—Well, how the hell did she know you jus’ wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse."

Given the later description of Curley's wife, as seen below, one can assume that Lennie, given women tend to be soft like the small animals Lennie likes so much, may have the same problem at the new ranch as he did at the previous one.

She had full, rouged lips and widespaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on
the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers.

Curley's wife seems to be the picture of a being Lennie would be attracted to (in order to "pet" like he does the small animals). That said, Lennie does not know his own strength (as seen by his crushing of Curley's hand). One could assume that, given Curley's wife is the only female character in the novel that readers see Lennie come in contact with, that she will die by his hand.

Another point could be that everything Lennie cares for ends up dead. The mice, the puppy, and Curley's wife. By examining the fact that all things which Lennie wants to touch die, one could come to the conclusion that Curley's wife will be no different.


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