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Explore ways that Steinbeck uses and presents setting in the novel `Of Mice and Men

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Explore ways that Steinbeck uses and presents setting in the novel `Of Mice and Men? In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, setting plays an important role as it helps the reader understand the atmosphere Steinbeck creates. The novel has four major settings that are the Salinas River, the bunkhouse, Crook's room, and the barn. The first and last setting in the novel is by the Salinas River. Steinbeck creates the setting as being idealistic and like the Garden of Eden. The place is described as `fresh? and `twinkling? creating a beautiful image. Steinbeck uses different techniques such as a metaphoric transition between the `golden foothill slopes? and `strong? rocky Gabilan mountains?. Steinbeck uses a metaphoric transition between the `golden? slopes, giving a smooth and warm feeling, compared to the `rocky? mountains. The transition represents opposites in nature but this also links with George and Lennie, being very different from one another; Lennie is described as having `bear? like features such as `big paws? and `wide, sloping shoulders?. However George is defined as being his `opposite? with `slender arms? and being `small and quick?. ...read more.


The snake swims along the pool until it reached a heron, which represents purity and patience, the neck of the `motionless? heron `lanced down? and `plucked it out by the head? swallowing the snake whole. The evilness of the snake is gently eased by the purity of the heron, until `another little water snake? saw up the pool, gently swaying side to side. The evil of the snake represents the death caused by Lennie, and then getting eaten away by the patience heron, to return soon after. Having the beginning and end set in the same place, represents the cycle of George and Lennie?s life till the death of Lennie and the almost certain dream. The second setting; the Bunkhouse, is where Steinbeck shows the hard, basic and lonely life the migrant workers live, with very basic and shared accommodation. Steinbeck describes the bunkhouse with `unpainted? floors and `small square windows?, with `eight bunks? for the men with space for any personal possessions in an `apple box? nailed above each bunk. The bare possessions owned by the men included basic toiletries, tools, medicines and Western magazines as a form of little entertainment. ...read more.


Crooks is shown as a intelligent man wanting more in his life, as his books include the `Californian civil code?. He is described as a `proud, aloof man, with eyes that `glitter with intensity?. The accommodation Crooks lives in shows his little value. Later in the chapter we find that Crooks used to be accepted as part of the community in Soledad, but was left alone when other black families moved away. The chapter ends as it began, lonely and bitter. As a shelter for animals, Steinbeck uses the barn to show the non-deliberate murders of Curley?s wife, and the new-born puppy, killed by Lennie and his animalistic features. Lennie doesn't understand why the puppy got killed, since it is so much bigger than a mouse causing him to `cover it over in hay? in his frustration. Lennie?s thought quickly turn to the rabbits that he would tend in the dream as he threats his precious and meaningful role, would be destroyed. The location is best suited to the murders, as it symbolises the death of the dream and animals such as the dead mouse, the dead dog of Candy, Curley?s wife and the dead puppy. 990 words. ...read more.

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