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How Does Stienbeck Achieve A Sense of Impending Tragedy In "Of Mice and Men"?

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How Does Stienbeck Achieve A Sense of Impending Tragedy In "Of Mice and Men"? Before starting to read the novel "Of Mice and Men" even looking at the title and reading the description on the back of the book, it is clear to see that something is going to go wrong at some point in the story. Reading the description, we are told that George and Lennie are working to earn enough money to one day own their own farm and piece of land "The American Dream". Then, looking at the title it gives a person that has read the poem "To A Mouse", the information to know that something will definitely go wrong. An extract from the poem reads: "The best laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft agley And lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promised joy" This means that however good a plan seems, it can still go wrong in many ways. So the sense of them not achieving their dream of owning a farm is strong right from the start of the novel. From the start of the novel, Steinbeck leads us to believe that Lenny will do something stupid or wrong that is going to end in disaster, creating the sense that George and Lennie will not achieve their dream. ...read more.


After their brief introductions George and Lennie walk over to a house where the boss is sitting behind a desk in one of the rooms. He is a very crabby man and has a short temper. He has a violent son who likes boxing. Straight away this is clear that something bad is going to happen on the ranch because of the unfriendly atmosphere. They then meet some other people in the bunkhouse where they are to sleep whilst on the ranch. Within minutes of arriving, Curley's wife wanders in and stands in the doorframe. She hasn't been treated very well by Curly and wants attention and she doesn't mind whom she gets it off. She charms Lennie at this point as she is standing with the sun rays behind, her making the shape of her body stand out. He thinks she is pretty and nice, although George will not let him have anything to do with her as she is the wife of the boss Curley and that it would only create more trouble. The author is hinting at the tragedy again. "I seen 'em poison before, but I have never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be." Further on in the story, one of the workers on the farm called Carlson is trying to convince Candy to have his dog shot because its helpless, old and smelly. ...read more.


Steinbeck refers back the point of Lennie's strength. The repetitions of phrases referring to Lennie's strength all create a sign that this strength will get him into a lot of trouble. We then find that Curley's wife enters the stable to find Lennie sitting there with body of the puppy covered in straw. She is somewhat startled by this but forgets about it and says that he could have one of the other pups. Lennie has been told by George not to talk to Curley's wife as she would get him into trouble, but he is that fascinated by her. Now Steinbeck give details of the wrong doings as they both begin to talk about how Lennie likes soft attractive things and how Curley's wife likes to stroke her hair because it is lovely and soft. She lets him stroke it but he gets out of control and strokes it harder, Lennie now begins to panic and the event in Weeds comes back into mind at this point. He holds on firm in all of the commotion and with a scream, he puts his hand over her mouth to soften the sound. "Please don't," he pleaded and with that she continued to scream. He was puzzled and angry now and shook her. She had stopped moving it was now obvious that he had broken her neck. At this point in the story, it is clear to see that all of the preceding clues given are coming together to for the end of the story. ...read more.

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