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Comment on the effectiveness of the opening section of

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Comment on the effectiveness of the opening section of "Mice and Men" The story is set in California in the 1930's, during the depression in America. There was little work, no money so everyone was depressed. There is a place called Soledad a few miles south is the Salinas River, where we are introduced to George and Lennie. George and Lennie are itinerant workers which move from ranch to ranch searching for work. At the ranch they receive a bed which is situated in a bunkhouse and they are given basic food. The story opens with the positive scene of a beautiful river bank and all the nature that surrounds, "golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains". Then in the distance there is the noise of footsteps which makes the animals flee to safety. That's when two men emerged from the path into the opening by a green pool. Even in the opening they walk in single file one behind the other, the man walking in front is described as "small and quick with sharp strong features." ...read more.


Lennie however is described using animal adjectives for example he behaves similar to a horse and bear, which ties together the nature scene in the beginning, this also continues throughout the story. The characters start to show their true characteristics and relationships when they speak to each other. The language they use reveals that they are uneducated. You can tell this because it is colloquial, containing slang and swearing and the way the writer spells certain words phonetically, which helps to capture the American accent. "Blubberin' like a baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you." One of the ways the opening section is effective is that is gives you clues which suggests, that there could be problems ahead, George refers to trouble in Weed in this section. Then Later in the story George tells Slim that when they used to work in Weed, Lennie and him had to flee and hide in an irrigation ditch to avoid an angry mob, because Lennie got accused of raping a girl, were in fact he was only stroking her dress because he likes ...read more.


And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck. The clues also introduce the main themes of the story, the themes of loneliness and Friendship. The theme loneliness is introduced in the beginning describing that George and Lennie are itinerant workers, which are always alone, "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world" the theme is also continued later in the story. The theme Friendship is shown all the way through the story, we are shown that George cares for Lennie but in the end George shoots Lennie in the back of the head out of friendship because George realises that this time its different, they cant get away from the law and that its better to kill Lennie now than, Lennie getting caught by curly and the rest of the men who would certainly torture and kill him, he also might of killed another person in the future if he had not been shot. We can therefore see how Steinbeck uses this opening scene to introduce the main characters and their relationship between each other which will help us understand the rest of the story. Rachel Hughes ...read more.

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