• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the techniques Steinbeck uses to develop plot, theme and character in Of Mice And Men

Extracts from this document...


Describe the techniques Steinbeck uses to develop plot, theme and character in Of Mice And Men Name: Matthew Joseph Addai Date: 3/3/11 Tutor: Natalie Masala John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" draws upon the economic hardships and struggles of the 1930's in America, as the "Great Depression". During this period of time, there was a massive surge in the level of unemployment and poverty as the result of the closure of many banks, factories and farms. Throughout the novel, the reader is given a feel of the harshness of this period through Steinbeck's use of various literary techniques to develop the characters, themes and plot of the novel. Imagery plays a key role in the development of the characters, plot and themes of the novel, particularly through the description of characters and their environment. In the early pages of chapter 1, Steinbeck gives a very vivid portrayal of George and Lennie's physical characteristics, the two characters that the novel primarily focuses on. Words that automatically catch the reader's attention during George's introduction include "restless eyes", "sharp, strong features" and "Every part of him was defined" (Chapter 1, page 2). The use of these words by Steinbeck help in defining George's character whilst at the same time, compliment his significance in the play. ...read more.


As a result of this, the room he occupies is off limits to everyone else on the farm, as they seem to do nothing but mistreat him, however Lennie in his usual simple-minded behavior, unintentionally trespasses Crook's territory. Crooks initially orders Lennie out of the room, considering him to be no different from the other ranch hands in the farm, although he later invites him to sit down after realizing he has no bad intentions. Shortly after, Crooks begins to taunt Lennie about his inability to comprehend much of what he hears others say to him, before cruelly playing with his mind through the following lines "S'ppose George don't come back no more."(Chapter 4, page 80). In this instance, we see Crooks attempt to impose a possibility of being abused and isolated upon Lennie, in a harsh attempt to make him understand Crooks' situation in the ranch. The reader is also given insight into Crook's inner anguish at the mistreatment that he has received through this, and his delight in experiencing the satisfaction of inflicting torment on others as seen through the lines "Crooks pressed forward some kind of private victory". ...read more.


Other examples of symbolism include the characters of Slim and Curly's wife. With regards to Slim, it can be said he represents the character of the typical sheriff or hero, a man who is calm and composed, who brings a sense of harmony to the otherwise chaotic nature of the ranch the characters work in. This is evident through some of the phrases used by Steinbeck in his introduction, such as "prince of the ranch" and "his word was taken on any subject". Through the use of such words, Slim is undoubtly presented as a well respected leader and authority on the figure, much of this quality been portrayed in his handling of the situation after Lennie broke Curly's hand. Curly's wife, can be said to symbolise those women who fight against the expectations of a patriarchal society and seek to discover their own self worth and gain independence, whilst at the same time portraying the the rather dangerous side to women. The former is made evident firstly, through the fact that she is never adressed by her name by the narrator or the other characters in the novel (displaying the insignificance of a women's identity within patriarchal society), as well as through her decision to confide in Lennie about her frustrations with her marriage to Curly, and her desire to be featured in the "pitchers". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Explore the techniques used by Mark Haddon to convey the main character's autism in ...

    In these parts the author Mark Haddon gives the most effective part of each person's viewpoint. The narrative style of the story makes the reader have a place dissimilar to any other characters in the book. Christopher, a 15 year old boy is quite a intellectual thinker, and he needs to have distinct motivation to understand a hard situation.

  2. Joe-Clarissa-Jed-ENDURING LOVE. Background information about the character details about family, career

    Joe wants to meet Jean as he feels guilty about the accident. He wants her to understand that he is not to blame. We see that Joe is a very implicated character. He cares about people. "...should I visit Mrs Logan and tell her what happened, she deserved to know...

  1. In the prose extract, Feet September 1948, Seamus Deane utilizes various techniques and literary ...

    Moreover, contributing to the setting of the excerpt the reader has to consider whether the piece is contemporary or not. The reader can clearly tell that the passage is not contemporary as the exact date of the event is written in the title: Feet September 1948.

  2. Hamlet Journal - rewriting key passages from the play

    My mother's waiting. The king's trying to cure his guilt her feels for killing my father but all he is doing is prolonging his life. f. Hamlet refuses to kill Claudius because he is praying to god. If he dies right now he is surely to go to heaven and not hell.

  1. What significance does the theme of innocence versus guilty play in the novel, The ...

    and dark imagery when "the two adults perspiring in their dark clothes, while Sandra, dressed in white, didn't mind the sun." Mulish uses the dark clothes in to represent Anton's perceived guilt and uses Sandra to represent the childish innocence in Anton thus the white dress.

  2. William Goldings novel Pincher Martin considered to be one of his best novels which ...

    Pincher Martin conveys a simple story of a drowning man and his struggle for survival. As mentioned before the reader becomes sympathetic with the main character because of his will to live and the drama he goes through. Martin, the naval officer is thrown into the North Atlantic when suffering an attack from a submarine.

  1. Explore the cyclic nature of the plot of Wuthering Heights. What is the purpose ...

    had been bred; and Catherine's sincere commendations acted as a spur to his industry. His brightening mind brightened his features, and added spirit and nobility to their aspect: I could hardly fancy it the same individual I had beheld on the day I discovered my little lady at Wuthering Heights, after her expedition to the Crags."

  2. Carol Ann Duffy attacks men in The Worlds Wife

    She does not completely deviate from female gender conventions by asserting her dominance; instead there is evidence of feminine emotional vulnerability. Through Delilah, Duffy hints at the weakness of emotion; a traditional female trait, but she still asserts the female?s dominance by having her deconstruct masculine power, transgressing gender conventions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work