Darkness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Light May Come but Darkness Always Follows
An elderly, crippled man walks into the bunkhouse, stumbling on his feet. Following him is a smelly, debilitated dog who slows more and more as the darkness creeps in. All the lustrous, shining glow has been stolen from the sky and replaced with the grave, dingy black horizon. In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, descriptions of darkness reveal future events. Brightness symbolizes happy memories, and darkness foreshadows loss.
Light demonstrates the peak of happiness before the darkness creeps in. Lennie walks into the stable in hopes of seeing his dog. As he enters the stable buck’s home, Lennie assures Crooks, “Just come to look at my puppy. And I seen your light.” (68). All Lennie wanted was a soft animal to take care of. Sun, a symbol of fond memories with the pup, foreshadows the darkness to come when the pup dies. Not forgetting, Lennie whispers about George as he heads back to the Salinas River where “the tops of the mountains seemed to
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Curly’s wife walks into the bunkhouse and “the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway [is] cut off” (31). She is a sign of trouble, and her blocking the light foreshadows a terrible event that will occur with her. Soon, Curly’s wife will get Lennie into trouble when he ends up killing her, which causes a ripple of terrible events to follow. Carlson insists that Candy’s dog is worthless, smelly, and needs to be killed. Confident in his opinion, Carlson “[leads] the dog out into the darkness” (48). He takes Candy’s dog outside to shoot and kill him. Not only does the darkness foreshadow the murder of the dog, it also foreshadows the future murder of Lennie.
After careful consideration of light and dark, one can conclude that light symbolizes pleasurable memories and darkness foreshadows death. The crescent moon is the only light left in the gloomy, dim horizon. Hushed voices calm the minds from the tragedy that is known to
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