Of Mice and Men begins and ends in the same location—by the Salinas River. However, this is not the only example of how the author brings the reader back to the beginning of the story. For example, in the final chapter Lennie is at the edge of the water, drinking. However, he is not gulping water as he did in chapter 1. Herons and snakes are also present in both the beginning and ending scenes. Lennie also strikes the same pose both times. “He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them…” (6).
George and Lennie are originally in the brush on the riverbank because they have been run out of Weed. This is due to Lennie getting in trouble by grabbing a woman’s dress. The final chapter has Lennie in the same place—the brush—because he is in “trouble” for killing Curley’s wife. Although Lennie does not know it, there is a mob after him. This is similar to the way they left Weed.
Additionally, in both chapter 1 and chapter 6 Lennie is compared to a bear. In the opening scene Lennie is described in the following way: “… he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” (2). In the final chapter Lennie “came as silently as a creeping bear moves” (100). Lennie and George’s dream begins and ends in the same location.