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How does Steinbeck sustain your interest in 'Of Mice and men'?

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Introduction

Jennifer Airey How does Steinbeck sustain your interest in 'Of Mice and men'? In 1937 John Ernest Steinbeck wrote 'Of Mice and men' the tragic story of two itinerant farm labourers yearning for a small farm of their own. Steinbeck makes the novel extremely entertaining by sustaining the reader's interest throughout by using several factors. Firstly, Steinbeck's characters are a key point in sustaining the reader's interest in the novel. The description of the characters is brilliantly descriptive; it makes the reader almost feel as though they know the characters. Leading to the reader caring to what happens to them, therefore increasing the passion for wanting to read on and learn of their fate. Lennie is introduced to us as big and animal like 'dabbled his big paw in the water' 'dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws' but most importantly as extremely strong and equally unaware of it, 'I'd pet 'em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and they was dead'. ...read more.

Middle

Parallels are successfully used throughout the play with the most important one probably being between the shooting of Candy's dog and the shooting of Lennie. Both were done, as the alternative was probably worse. Candy's dog could hardly walk or eat, to let him carry on would course a lot of suffering for the dog, it would be kinder to shoot him. Just as if George had handed Lennie to curly when he found him. If George had done this Lennie would either have been killed anyway by Curley or he could have been strapped down and put in a cage, which is no life for anyone. These parallels give hints at what is to come, also when we learn of what happened to Candy and his dog we can fill in the gaps of what George may be thinking. The book is actually divided into six sections not chapters; Steinbeck describes this particular book as 'play novelette'. Steinbeck seems to contain each section with a similar beginning and end and nearly always with a dramatic climax, to sustain the readers interest, and hold their interest throughout. ...read more.

Conclusion

Steinbeck uses imagery very well by using figurative and poetic language, particularly in the description of nature 'On the sand-banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little grey, sculptured stones'. He also uses it when describing Lennie as animal like 'dabbled his big paw in the water' 'dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws' Colloquial style language is also used when the ranch hands are talking "I was only foolin' " "you aint" "cause I want" "Di'n'nt I remember" This style of language makes the story more real and therefore more exciting, which makes the reader want to read on. Throughout the book Steinbeck meticulously describes the detail. The description of the natural surroundings, everything is beautiful and relaxing in the first chapter, in a way too relaxing almost as though it is too good, therefore making you wonder. The language used in the first section is of great contrast to what we see later in the book. Steinbeck Successfully sustains the readers interest throughout the play by using some clever device's that ultimately just make the reader want to read on. Whether it is Steinbeck's great 'cliffhangers' or his 'small hints' he always has his reader's completed interested and 'hooked' to 'Of Mice and Men'. ...read more.

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