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Of Mice and Men is set in the 1930's, this is important as during the 1930s, in which the novel was set, an economic disaster was taking place.

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Introduction

Of mice and men coursework essay Of Mice and Men is set in the 1930's, this is important as during the 1930s, in which the novel was set, an economic disaster was taking place. It was very difficult to find a job at this time, because of this man-made catastrophe. This context relates to the novel a lot and shows the reader a reason why George and Lennie were so close with their journey searching for their dream. Steinbeck creates atmosphere brilliantly in Of Mice and Men. He uses the verb as a descriptor, and by including contrasts, similes and metaphors, the recurring themes of light and sound and suspense, he creates a very vivid atmosphere. The characters which he used are also described in such a way that he infers a sense of atmosphere in the book. First of all, Steinbeck uses themes of light and sound. At the beginning of chapter one, describes the scene very vividly, using such phrases as, "fresh and green", "yellow sands" and "golden foot-hill". These are soft colours, and so imply a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere. Then, he uses such phrases as "pounded" which breaks the tranquillity and implies another atmosphere through the use of movement. The light is again used "flamed with the light of the sun", and this is presenting us with a different atmosphere, but using the same method. Again, sound is used directly afterwards, "rustled", to give a change of atmosphere. This interrupts the natural calm again, making the place very vivid to us. Once again, "half-darkness" is used with reference to light, broken by a sound, "whisked". This creates a sense of atmosphere again, and Steinbeck uses this method throughout the book. Like the start of the chapter, the end finishes with light too, "the red light dimmed on the coals" and it is interrupted by sound, "yammered". Steinbeck's fascination with sunlight is borne through into chapter two. ...read more.

Middle

Here, I think Steinbeck is trying to show George's loneliness. There is nothing obvious about what George gets out of this relationship, but I think it might be the pleasure of having a hold over Lennie. Lennie Small is most certainly not small! In the novel, he is described as 'a huge man, shapeless of face, large pale eyes and sloping shoulders.' So from this description you can tell that he is George's opposite. In the novel, Steinbeck compares Lennie to animals, which I find very interesting. The first comparison is about the way Lennie walks. 'The way a bear drags his paws.' The next comparison is about the way he drinks.' Snorting into the water like a horse.' Then towards the end there is the similarity between Candy's dog's death and Lennie's death. Although Lennie is described as 'an affectionate giant with the mind of a child', he is still intelligent, but forgetful. He knows that George cares for him deeply and would never leave him. He uses this affinity to his advantage. When George starts to get mad at him, he answers, 'George, you want I should go away and leave you alone? If you don' want me I can go off in the hills an' find a cave. I can go away anytime.' Lennie knows that George will not let him go, so he gets around George by making him feel guilty. Even though Lennie is quite intelligent, he is very childlike. As a child is often described as 'innocent', Lennie is also innocent, but in a different way to a child. He isn't sheltered from th e cruelties of the world and people don't treat him like a child; he is just unable to understand certain things. Like why Curley picks on him. Because Lennie is 'innocent', he accidentally does bad things. One incident that the reader is told about, is about what happened in Weed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curley, like his wife and Lennie, also seems to have been released in death, although in an indirect and very morbid way. Maybe he will miss his wife, or maybe he will use their mortal separation as a new starting point, a time to find out what he really wants, and perhaps a new wife, that doesn�t have "the eye". Whit�s dream is stirred up from his subconscious mind by a name that jumped out from the page of a magazine. His old partner on the pea fields, Bill Tenner, got his letter printed in a magazine, something Whit seems envious about. This is a great example of a small man, who thinks small, aims low and probably misses. Candy does not seem to have a dream until he meets George and Lennie. He is swept up in the plausible reality of this dream, a dream he would probably be too scared to initiate by himself. Candy is not happy with his life on the ranch, but he doesn�t think that there is anything that he can do. The other main character in the story, Slim, doesn�t seem to have a dream. He seems to be happy with his job, and the skill with which he has been blessed. The opening of the novel can tell us a great deal of about the novel, the opening scene described as peaceful world of nature is disturbed by man, this becomes more pronounced during the " sound of footsteps" grows louder and the animal flee to safety. Afterwards we learn the difference of the two men, George and Lennie, we know straight away the George has authority over Lennie straight away "they walked in single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind other" and George was the person in front. The book opens with an exposition or the filling in of events before the story proper opens. This puts the relationship between George and Lennie into a slightly wider context. ...read more.

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