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Compare the openings of Great Expectations and Of Mice and Men. How do the authors create setting and atmosphere?

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Introduction

Compare the openings of Great Expectations and Of Mice and Men. How do the authors create setting and atmosphere? Of mice and men was written in the 1930's during the great depression where it was hard to find work for most people and itinerant workers moved all over the country to find work. The book was set in America California. In the book the author is trying to show how hard it was in the depression and how people suffered because they couldn't find work. Great Expectations was written in 1860 and at this time in Kent where the book is set there was a lot of criminality at the time because of convicts and there was a gibbet near by the house of the character involved in the book which is where people who had done wrong were hung. The author was trying to show how someone who lived in a lower class life and could grow up to be a gentleman. In of mice and men it is wrote in 3rd person this is because we the audience are distanced from the characters because in the opening it first introduces nature into the book then animals and the Steinbeck introduces humans and they disturb the atmosphere; "For a moment the place was lifeless, and then two men emerged from the path and came ...read more.

Middle

The first part of symbolism that we see is between the Heron and the Water Snake. At the beginning of the book everything is calm and the heron and the water snake don't bother each other but at the end of the heron eats the water snake; "A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while it's tail waved frantically" This is symbolic because at the beginning of the book it is calm and near the end it is tense because of the death of Lennie and the heron eating the water snake shows this. The second part of symbolism that we see is how Lennie is always compared to a big animal; "His huge comparison dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse." This is symbolic because he is compared to a big animal and he is always described by his size compared to George's. Great Expectations is wrote in the first person and the first three paragraphs are directly related to the character that the book is about, the effect that this has is that it gets us closer to the character because it is in first person. ...read more.

Conclusion

The most important type of symbolism in this is the marshes, because they are full of criminality and it is described as a 'savage lair', the gibbet also shows this and is also shows death and criminality. Also the way that Pip changes classes is symbolic because when you are born into one type of class usually you stay in that class but in this novel Pip starts off in a lower class and grows up into higher class and becomes a gentleman. To conclude there are some similarities and differences; both have imagery and symbolism in them, both have figurative language, and both end in the same way because they both go round in a full circle back to where they started. The differences are that Dickens' is more complex and hard to read and Steinbeck's is simple and easy to read, Dickens' is wrote in first person, Steinbeck's is in third person and both the structure and the language are different. I think that both openings help you to want to carry on but when they get nearer to the end they both end in disappointment because you expect more to happen but it doesn't. To be honest I really can't choose which novel is the best but if I had to choose it would be 'of mice and men' because there is more characters which means there is more to learn and find out about them. ...read more.

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