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11. There are lots of playlike characteristics in the novel. In fact, when the play was first staged, nearly 85 percent of it was taken directly from the novel. For one thing, each chapter opens with a setting description that sounds a lot like stage directions. For another, the book consists mostly of dialogue.
Also, Steinbeck doesn't really describe the characters he lets them reveal themselves through their words and actions. In addition the action takes place over a very short period of time in one central location. And the plot develops a step at a time right before our eyes, with the narrator not commenting on events before they happen. These are all play characteristics, not those of most novels. Even the actions that occur seem "staged." For example, Curley and Lennie's fight seems to be a duel on stage, and Lennie and Curley's wife seem to be dancing together before she is killed (see the description of this "dance" in the analysis of Chapter 5 of this guide). Novels are usually noted for extended descriptions, development of characterizations, and the flowing quality of their language. Plays are noted for the directness of language and characterizations. If these characteristics are typical, Of Mice and Men seems to have more in common with plays than novels.
12. One of the ways Steinbeck holds the events of the book together and moves the plot is through the use of foreshadowing. Lennie's trouble in Weed foreshadows his killing of Curley's wife. Candy's dog is shot in the same way and with the same weapon with which Lennie will be killed. George's warnings about not fooling around with Curley or Curley's wife turn out to be prophetic. His warnings that Lennie may kill the puppy if he handles it too much also turn out to be accurate.