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Of Mice and Men comparison film essay

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Compare the opening sequence of Steinbeck's novel with the Smith/Sinise film version? Both Steinbeck's novel and the Smith/Sinise film version open with details of what happened in Weed and shows George and Lennie crossing the American Countryside, travelling to their new ranch. However although the two sequences start with similar opening ideas, they are very different. Steinbeck opens the novel by giving a description of the countryside close to the Salinas River near Soledad in California, USA. The landscape is described as being empty and peaceful, and seems to be a place of escape. "The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool." Steinbeck creates a sense of freshness and hope by setting the story in springtime when the trees bear new leaves and the wildlife becomes active. Steinbeck describes the diverse nature found there, form deer to lizards and "... Sandy banks under the trees...the deep pool..." There is a sense of harmony of nature unspoiled by human interference until the dogs belonging to the nearby ranches are mentioned. It is soon revealed that in fact humans inhabit the area "... [the path] beaten hard by tramps... this means that the in fact the nature and tranquillity has been interfered with by humans. ...read more.


The music becomes a lot louder and lower pitched and speeds up creating a sense of panic and urgency. The camera is focused on a young girl running through the fields of Weed, she is wearing a red dress, which has been ripped and pulled of her shoulders, with her hair all messy and out of place and it appears that she has been attacked. The young girl is silently and franticly running through the fields and all you can hear is the dark, foreboding music gradually speeding up as the girl becomes more and more frantic and runs quicker and quicker towards the fields. There is terror on the girl's face and she looks distraught and you can hear her crying and panicking, this immediately draws our attention in and we immediately start to wonder what has happened to the girl. The music continues to become louder and faster and the scene changes to see two men, Lennie and George, running and fleeing through the brush and the woods. One of them, George is like the leader and keeps pulling Lennie to hurry up and keeps shouting "c'mon" to him, they both have fear and terror on their faces. The girl starts screaming when she is near the fields and the workers in the fields hear her, it then changes back to see Lennie and George ...read more.


Lennie also seems more handicapped whereas in the novel Lennie just seems slightly dumb or retarded, however in the film he does actually seem disabled. This scene has been added to show us the relationship between George and Lennie, whereas in the novel it is shown much later when they are in the woods travelling to the ranch and also to show that it is the end of the flashback. At the end of this scene, it is dark again and the camera goes back to George's half lit face, like the beginning of the novel. It shows George thinking about what has happened, almost like and ending and the darkness makes it very atmospheric. The final scene of the opening is the Urban City scene. It shows 1930s America and how people were dressed and what little towns looked like and it also shows Lennie and George going onto a bus to go to the ranch. This has been added to contextualise the film and gives us the sense of the period the novel is set in, without a narrator doing it. Overall the Smith/Sinise film Version is more dramatic and obvious than Steinbeck's novel. Although both have similar opening ideas, the film is less ambiguous than the novel and is a lot more obvious, making it easier to watch and understand. By Anisah Lokat 10P ...read more.

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