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Of Mice and Men - why did Steinbeck choose to write this novel?

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men", written by John Steinbeck, is a gripping and emotional novel set in a ranch "A few miles south of Soledad". Throughout this novel Steinbeck uses different themes such as, racism, prejudice and segregation. The first warning of racism and prejudice is made when Candy speaks to George: "Ya see the stable buck is a nigger"Candy made this statement when George and Lennie first arrive at the ranch. Although this is the first conversion with George, Candy shows the shocking acceptability of racism and prejudice towards people she considers to be different and therefore an outcast. Furthermore the theme of racism builds on and intertwines with the other themes of prejudice and loneliness. At the beginning of the novel Steinbeck introduces the reader to the two main characters, George and Lennie. The story starts with George, Lennie's defender, and Lennie, making their way to a new ranch after being hounded(CHASE) out of their previous job in Weed. When they arrive at the new ranch they meet Curley, the boss' son, who takes an instant dislike to Lennie. ...read more.

Middle

Consequently the reader is left in no doubt that Lennie's actions are not deliberate. Despite this the reader is still intimidated(frightened) by Lennie as Steinbeck uses the image of a "big", strong man and compares his image to that of a large white bear when describing Lennie: "A huge man...........with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders.........dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws The image of this large and potentially destructive creature imposes tension and helps the reader to visualise the commanding figure of Lennie. In addition to these three themes Steinbeck uses the settings throughout the novel to reflect what is happening to the two main characters, George and Lennie. At the outset the writer conveys (communicate) a positive image through the setting: The long and descriptive sentences at the beginning and end of the novel are used by Steinbeck to portray the natural tranquillity (coolness) of the wilds. In contrast (distinguish) the settings used in the rest of the story are contained within the ranch and express a restrictive (uncertain) mood: "The bunkhouse was a long rectangular building. ...read more.

Conclusion

As she stands talking to the ranch workers she shows her unfairness towards them: "Stand-in' here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs - a Niger an' a dum-dum and a lousy ol' sheep - an' liking it because they isn't nobody else". The author uses emotive language to illustrate that the outsiders accept being spoken to in a vital way, even by a fellow (guys) outsiders. When Lennie accidentally kills the puppy the reader is aware to Lennie's wild strength. However, Lennie is still not learned of his strength and when he begins to shake Curley's wife he is unaware that he has killed her too until she fall down down: "Her body flopped like a fish"... Steinbeck uses an animal image to represent the weakness of Curley's wife. As the novel comes to a best moment George kills Lennie to save him from the public humiliation that Curley would subject him to. Reading this book has given me an insight into the way in which society treats some people as outsider. In my opinion this is the main reason that Steinbeck chose to write this novel. Date: 15.12.2003 Complete by Zobaid kohestani Year 11 purple houses ...read more.

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