Foreshadowing In Of Mice And Men

What are some foreshadowing quotes in Of Mice and Men?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck that the one woman in the narrative is going to be trouble is clearly suggested in Chapter 2.  Here are some examples of foreshadowing:

1. One day as the men glance up, they see a girl standing in the doorway.  Her posture indicates that she is flirtatious, and her manner suggests that she is looking for more than Curley when she repeatedly comes around.

She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward.  "You're the new fellas that just come, ain't ya?"...

She smiled archly and twitched her body.  "Nobody can't blame a person for lookin'," she said.

2.  In Chapter 2 after Candy has told George and Lennie about the pugnacious Curley, George "pretended a lack of interest.  'Looks like we was gonna have fun.'  Then Lennie mournfully says, "I don't want no trouble...I never done nothing to him."

Of course, the reader senses that there will be a confrontation between Curley and probably Lennie.

3. When Curley's wife comes around the bunkhouse in Chapter 4,

Lennie watcher her, fascinated; but Candy and Crooks were scowling down away from her eyes.

Then, when Candy tries to discourage her from staying around, she "flared up."

"Sure I gotta husban'. You all seen him.  Swell guy, ain't he?  Spends all his time sayin' what he's gonna do to guys he don't like and he don't like nobody.  Think I'm gonna stay in that two-by-four house and listen how Curley's gonna lead with his left twict, and then bring in the ol' right cross?"

After George's having related to Slim how Lennie got into trouble in Weed, the suggestion of more trouble is evident.

4. A more subtle foreshadowing than the previous three is the shooting of Candy's old dog by Carlson.  This act  also suggests that Candy may be put out, too, as he has outlived his usefulness.  In addition, this act becomes meaningful as a suggestion of the anthropomorphic Lennie's being shot in the same manner at the end of the novella:

"The way I'd shoot him, he wouldn't feel nothing.  I'd put the gun right there."  He pointed with his toe.  "Right back of the head.  He wouldn't even quiver."

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Quote idea #1:

George said, "I want you to stay with me, Lennie. Jesus Christ, somebody'd shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself." (12)

Interestingly enough, Lennie does end up getting shot... like a dog, and George is right, it occurs when Lennie is at a significant alone moment. And, someone was ready to hunt him when it happened (Not George, Curley)

Quote idea #2:

"But we're gonna sleep here tonight because I got a reason." (7)

George wants Lennie to remember this place. It is difficult for Lennie to remember just about everything. George etched it in Lennie's brain so that if there was trouble, there could be a meeting place. Guess what, later on, there is trouble and they use this meeting place to be the end of Lennie which does indeed relieve the trouble.

Quote idea #3: Carlson says,

"They way I'd shoot him, he wouldn't feel nothing. Id' put the gun right there." He pointed with his toe. "Right back of the head. He wouldn't even quiver."

When George eventually shoots Lennie, he does so in an effort to cause Lennie the least pain possible, just as Carlson describes, right in the back of the head.

 Here is a video summary of the novella:

nisarg | Student

Quote: “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George.” (Steinbeck, 61)

            After Candy’s dog was put down, Candy regretted his decision to put his old dog down. Candy’s dog had to be put down because it was old and in pain. Candy believed that he should have put his dog down himself instead of letting someone else put his dog down.  George listens but their conversation is interrupted by Curley walking in. This quote provides slight foreshadowing that George was going to kill Lennie himself instead of letting the other men get to Lennie. The reader knows that the George thinks about what Candy says before he kills Lennie. George realizes that the he would rather put Lennie down himself rather than let the other men kill Lennie. The logic behind this was that George knew that if he didn’t put down Lennie himself then he would constantly wonder “what if”, like Candy did. George knew that Lennie had to be ended and knew that he had to do it himself. He would live forever with that guilt, but he knew that was better than living with the fact that he had not been with his friend to the bitter end.

joerug | Student

The novel, Of Mice and Men, contains numerous examples of FORESHADOWING.  John Steinbeck uses FORESHADOWING  to give the reader clues about what may eventually happen in the story. The following is an example of this technique:

("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.")

Lennie's tendency to "get carried away" with touching soft, silky things will eventually lead to the tragic encounter with Curley's wife.

toungtwister | Student

The quotes that relate to lennie catching the girl's dress in the weed, killing a mouse, killing a puppy and then killing a human will help. These will help because these show how Lennie improved in killing. Lennie killing these many will foreshadow killing Curley's wife.