• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Animal imagery is a prominent and extremely important device in the novel.

Extracts from this document...


Animal imagery is a prominent and extremely important device in the novel. Of Mice and Men is a great novel written by John Steinbeck, a Nobel Prize-winning author. Based on Steinbeck's own experiences at the time, it tells the sad story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two migrant workers who learn to look out for one another during the Great Depression in Salinas, California. For the duration of the tale, Steinbeck makes references to animals and their significance, both through symbolism and reflecting character's personalities. The mice, the rabbits and the dogs are three important recurring animal images in the novel. Mice have a crucial importance in the novel, as well as Lennie's relationship with the mice. Firstly, Lennie likes to feel soft things, and his obsession with with petting mice grants him with security and comfort. Even if the animal is lifeless, Lennie still pets it to comfort it as well as to comfort himself. ...read more.


Firstly, they are the only thing that Lennie does not seem to forget. Every time he asks George to tell him the story of their little house, he always mentions the rabbits, as if without the rabbits on their land, even if they would have a place they can call their own, it would not be the same. Secondly, the rabbits that Lennie hopes to have and care for give George control over him. Lennie's happiness is based on his hopes for this land, so he will be able to tend his rabbits. Knowing this, George constantly threatens him with not allowing him to tend the rabbits if he does not behave and follow his orders. George tells Lennie '' if you do [get in trouble], I won't let you tend to the rabbits,'' (p.17). This becomes Lennie's motivation to behave and to watch what he does. ...read more.


He also does not think about the consequences of his actions. Steinbeck's comparisons between Lennie and animals, like dogs, bears, and horses, reinforce the impending sense of doom. Secondly, Candy's dog has a great importance in the novel as well. His death is linked to the death of Lennie because this dog represents the fate awaiting anyone that becomes no longer useful. In other words, anyone who outlives his or her purpose will be put out, one way or another. The dog's death brings out a major fear in Candy. He himself is nearing an age when he will no longer be useful on the ranch and therefore will no longer be welcomed there either. Finally, Lennie's puppy is one of several symbols that demonstrate the victory of the strong over the weak. Lennie kills the puppy unintentionally, as he has killed many mice before, for the plain reason that he does not recognize his own strength. Animals in the novel, from mice to rabbits to dogs, all die untimely deaths and have an intense significance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level General Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level General Studies essays

  1. Place Value Lesson Plan

    The students will be asked if this is an easier way to perform an addition mathematic equation. As the students refer back to the place value chart and the number written on it, the teacher will demonstrate how each number is place on the chart to show the right value.

  2. Compare and contrast the roles of Napoleon and Snowball in shaping the social structure ...

    He had formed different committees in order to try to keep all the animals involved with the Rebellion and everything else on the farm. "Snow ball also busied himself with organizing the other animals into what he called Animal Committees" (Orwell 22).

  1. Loneliness is a major theme in the novel.

    " 'Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink" (Steinbeck 68). Also, Crooks's emotions are displayed to the reader when he talks to Lennie in his room about having no companionship with anyone, he says: "Maybe you can see now.

  2. a study of the range and scale of the industry which illustarates its current ...

    On average, the time spent on leisure activities (defined as enjoying entertainment and culture, sports and outdoor activities, television and video) totalled 3.05 hours a day for men and 2.53 hours for women. A review of the international leisure market shows that in the developed world, the recreation, entertainment, education

  1. Legalized gambling brings big revenue for the cities.

    Most of these lotteries were corrupted and banned during Civil War. The first state lottery was started in New Hampshire. It was followed by New York and New Jersey. The Massachusetts State Lottery established the first scratch-off lottery ticket, The Instant Game, printed by the Dittler Brothers lottery division, in 1974.

  2. Should the Death penalty be re-introduced?

    Take the most recent case in the media. Lindsey Lohan was subjected to 45 days imprisonment but only served ?1? due to overcrowding. Does this seem justified? The death penalty would severely cut down overcrowding ? by approximately 9% and reduce costs of keeping prisoners.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work