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discuss the use of imagery of light and dark in Of Mice and Men

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Introduction

Discuss the use of imagery of light and dark in the novel. In Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the imagery of light and dark is used to deepen the themes of the normal. Sometimes darkness or "light lifting" can mean more than one thing. In this essay I would explore this subject. "Although there was evening brightness showing through the windows of the bunkhouse, inside it was dust". This shows that the light tries to get in but never manages to penetrate the darkness. This is important to the themes of the story because workers' hope for a future farm is just like the light while the cruel reality is like the darkness. Their efforts to realize this plan is just like the light trying to penetrate the darkness, but their dream shatters at last, just like the dust inside. ...read more.

Middle

When Curley's wife first appears in the bunkhouse, both Lennie and George notice that the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway is cut off. This suggests that to those workers, Curley's wife is like darkness. She is a "tart", a "tramp", she is dangerous and brings only trouble to them because when she appears, their "sunshine" is cut off. Here the sunshine may represent bright things such as a better future or hope. Curley's wife cut off their sunshine which means she may take away their happiness, just like darkness. Just before Curley's wife dies "the sun streaks climb up the wall". This suggests that the climax is coming. It also shows that another new day is on its way which means all those belong to yesterday will become the past. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the hill tops are rosy after he has dies suggests that he is better off dead and will be happier in heaven. And the sun leaves the valley suggests that everything is over, the climax, the story, the bubble dream, the darkness, everything, good or bad, is over. A new day , a totally "new" day but not another "old" day, is smiling to the world. So though the story is about shattering dream, in the end it shows a light of hope, which contributes more charm to this book. Imagery plays an important role in setting the mood for the whole story. This figurative language appears many times in the novel with different meanings. Imagery contributes to the depth of the book as well as its immortality. ...read more.

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