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Discuss the use of Animal Imagery in

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Discuss the use of Animal Imagery in "Of Mice and Men." Throughout the novel "Of mice and Men" the author John Steinbeck explores the ways in which many different animals can be used to help put many different Ideas and themes across. Steinbeck does this in numerous ways including comparing several of the characters to animals and linking various events of the book in with the fates of the animals used. Steinbeck starts to use the idea of animal and human lives linking together as early on as the title of the book. The book's title "Of Mice and Men," is taken from an extract of a Scottish poem by Robert Burns; "The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men Gang aft a-gley." This extract roughly translates to "The best laid schemes of Mice and Men Often go wrong." By using a title taken from this particular extract Steinbeck hints before we even open the book that things for many of the characters go wrong. ...read more.


The free lives that the animals live represents the kind of lives that George, Lennie and the other migrant workers are desperate to lead. It is during this first section of the book that we learn of another powerful link between the books title and the migrant workers in the book. In this first section we see George and Lennie dream to own their own ranch and "Live off the fatta the lan." This dream is largely enhanced for Lennie particularly with the temptation of being able to own rabbits, "Go on ... George. How I get to tend the rabbits." The idea of owning rabbits is Lennie's personal dream. This reference to animals again shows us how child like he is. We however get the feeling that this dream is never going to come true. This is enhanced further when we see George seemingly going along with the dream to keep Lennie happy. ""Let's have different colored rabbits George" "Sure we will...Red and blue and green rabbits Lennie. ...read more.


As we see Lennie die killed by George we get the feeling that Steinbeck set Lennies death by the Salinas River for a reason. Although it does give the book a symmetrical feeling Steinbeck may have also felt that it was best to have Lennie killed where countless animals would have died naturally. The natural surroundings where all the free animals roamed would also give us the impression that now dead Lennie, like the rabbits he loved so much is at last free. Although "Of Mice and Men," is a book that principally shows the struggled lives of migrant workers during the great depression, throughout the book Steinbeck uses the idea of the animal and human worlds paralleling one another to give dark hints to show what is about to come to pass. If you add this to the fact that the animals help to show elements in certain characters you can see how vital the animals are to the ongoing themes in the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ellie Greenwood ...read more.

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