Can you identify some mirror images in Of Mice and Men (i.e. shooting Candy's dog= shooting Lennie).

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These "mirror images" are mainly examples of foreshadowing.  Some of Steinbeck's use of the images is simply to build suspense, but he also relies upon them to demonstrate the universality of man's plight and various forms of isolation.

Examples include:

-Lennie's uncontrollable strength causes him to snap his puppy's neck and eventually Curley's Wife's neck.

-When many of the men go into town to visit a cat house, Candy, Lennie, and Crooks stay behind.  Each of them represents an isolated outcast: Candy because of his age and alleged uselessness, Lennie because of his mental handicap, and Crooks because of his race.

-Lennie and George are run out of town because of Lennie's problem with a girl; likewise, Lennie causes another problem with a girl (Curley's Wife) on the Tyler Ranch.

-Steinbeck's description of the river and its inhabitants in the first chapter and last are almost identical.  The animals scurry away from man each time.  George and Lennie discuss their dream in both scenes, but in Chapter 1, they are filled with hope about their dream; in Chapter 6, George knows that the dream is elusive.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some other examples of foreshadowing in the novel include these, as well. Lenny's accidentally killing the mouse foreshadows his accidentally killing Curley's wife. Also, in the beginning of the play, George tells Lennie to meet him at that exact spot on the river in case of trouble. This foreshadows the play's conclusion when George and Lennie meet again in that same place after the worst kind of trouble does happen.