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Describe how John Steinbeck creates the atmosphere of loneliness and desperation throughout the story and how his use of words helps him do this.

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men Aim:- Describe how John Steinbeck creates the atmosphere of loneliness and desperation throughout the story and how his use of words helps him do this. Steinbeck creates a brilliant atmosphere throughout the story, Of Mice and Men He includes contrasts, similes and metaphors, the recurring themes of light and sound and suspense, he creates a very life-like and real atmosphere. The characters that have been used are also described in such a way that he creates a sense of atmosphere in the book. First of all, phrases involving light and sound are used. At the beginning of chapter one, describes the scene very well, using phrases like, "fresh and green", "yellow sands" and "golden foot-hill". These are colours that give you the feeling of a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere. Then, he uses such phrases as "pounded" which breaks the peace and implies an atmosphere, harsher. The light is again used "flamed with the light of the sun", again giving us a different atmosphere. And, sound is used directly afterwards, "rustled", to give us the atmosphere change again. This interrupts the natural calm again, making the place very vivid. Once again, "half-darkness" is used with reference to light, broken by a sound, "whisked". Steinbeck uses this method quite frequently throughout the book. ...read more.

Middle

The atmosphere itself helps us understand more about the life of the workers, where there is tension between workers "watched him uneasily", and where it is a very cruel world, "I ain't much good". As previously mentioned, animal, light and sound imagery can be used very effectively to portray a certain atmosphere, but there are also other words Steinbeck uses to help him in this creation. "Fumed" can show anger in a character, making an atmosphere totally different to "sighed". The description of the bunkhouse at the beginning of chapter two, we can see all the techniques used by Steinbeck to create atmosphere. The light images of sunlight, " bright dust-laden bar" highlights, where things will happen later on in the story. The plain words like "unpainted" help to create an atmosphere, describing the bunkhouse. References to sound, "flies shot in" uses onomatopoeia and creates movement like the beginning of the book. Finally, adding characters to the bunkhouse, "Stoop-shouldered" gives the imagery of the bunkhouse and its roughness and an image of the tiredness of the men. Using the imagery of light and sound, he sets the scene, then giving it life and relations to the reader using animal imagery, giving u the feeling you are there in the story watching what is happening. ...read more.

Conclusion

Parts of the story give you the impression that George can get very annoyed and uncomfortable with Lennie's company and at several points threatens to leave him on his own and they will not live the 'American Dream.' The dream is one of the ways the two men combat their loneliness, by having the dream in their minds it makes them have faith and hope for the future instead f just giving up. Lennie uses the dream as something that keeps him going and he often asked George to repeat it when he is feeling down and unloved. Their American dream was to get enough money to move on and start a new life just like Lennie wanted, on a farm with rabbits (soft). We find out that Lennie has feelings for Curley's wife and that when he gets close to her in the barn he manages to break her neck when he panics as she started to scream as he wouldn't let go of her because her hair was soft. Lennie is very vulnerable to the outside world and has no understanding of the world and what's going on around him. Steinbeck describes him very well, as he does George. You get the feeling of the emotions these two men are going through to get through life. It is a very good story and John Steinbeck is a very good author. ...read more.

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