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What is the relevance of light and nature in of mice and men

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What is the relevance of Nature and Light/Darkness in Of Mice and Men? Nature and Light are major themes in the novella, Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck uses many writing techniques including metaphors to depict characters or scenery with certain attributes. Nature is generally used to provide an in depth description or interpretation whereas light is employed in order to provide the tone of the scene. At the beginning of the story Lennie is in harmony with the natural world as it can provide a paradise for him. This is because it allows him to escape from the world's stresses e.g. the great depression at the time. Rich and lush imagery is used to illustrate this; for example "on the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them." ...read more.


In chapter 1 after Lennie has become temporarily in touch with his environment a "water snake slipped along the pool." A snake is used in this particular case to represent evil as it is a sinister creature the lures Eve into eating the apple in the Fall of Man. In the early stages of the novel George decides that they will stay at the pool all night. The pool is a place of primeval innocence, like Eden but it cannot protect Lennie because he has ultimately fallen. Another reference to the Fall of Man is when Lennie becomes sexually tempted to Curley's wife. Her femininity is a danger to Lennie like the enticing red apple was to Eve. The town from which Lennie and George has both travelled from, Weed, suggests after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they felt a sense of imperfection. ...read more.


In addiction darkness is associated with the grim reaper who looms over death. The light can also be linked to the themes of the story. "In the stable buck's room a small electric globe threw a meagre yellow light," is evidence of this. The light in Crook's room is meagre which suggests a relationship between light and his role in the ranch, which is ranked extremely low. This brings up the major theme of loneliness and an element of fragmentation. In conclusion nature and light play a large role in the way that the novella is read and understood. Both are linked in the same dramatic effect; for instance if something dies then the light turns to darkness and something sinister/evil from nature is used as a simile. By using reference to Adam and Eve etc one can relate to the story and empathise with the position of the two young ranchmen, Lennie and George. By Josh Leader 3205 Weymouth ...read more.

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