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The sense of an ending in the novel "Of Mice and Men" and how central this is to the book.

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Introduction

?Of Mice and Men? Coursework Explore the sense of an ending in the novel and how central this is to the book. In ?Of Mice and Men?, Steinbeck built up a sense of an ending which is applied throughout the entire novel. For this he linked several and different aspects and characters which follow the story and make it successful. In this novel, the sense of an ending is showed by a few techniques the author used through the whole book. Firstly, he makes the reader feel it is the end in the last chapter; he brings us back to the same place as in the first chapter in which the natural setting is similar : ?Salinas River?, ?deep pool?, ?Gabilan mountains?, ?among the sycamores?, it is like a cycle that finishes where it started. In the beginning of these both chapters, Steinbeck starts with a description of nature. But not only the setting is repeated. The content is as well resembling: Lennie's thoughts and Lennie and George's conversation mirror the opening: for example in both chapters they discuss about rabbits and about their dream ranch. However, these similarities actually emphasize the change that have been made with these persona through the story: in chapter one they had their great plan about the ranch and we feel they believed in it, and now in chapter six this plan seems to be left out. ...read more.

Middle

The two main characters, George and Lennie, have a dream. This dream is repeated three times: once at the very beginning, from ?Someday? to ?listen to the rain comin' down on the roof?, p.16. This telling is the first of the book; it is the one in which the reader discovers and understands how lonely they are. The second time is when George tells this ritual story in front of Candy, from ?Well, it's ten acres? to ?We'd have a setter dog and a couple stripe cats, but you gotta watch out them cats don't get the little rabbits?, p.57-58. We note some more details in this telling, as the lot size (?ten acres?), the different kinds of fruit they'd get (?cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, got a few berries?), what they would eat (?An' when the salmon run up river we could catch a hundred of 'em an' salt 'em down or smoke 'em. We could have them for breakfast?), etc. And finally, the third time George tells the story is at the very end, just before he kills Lennie, from ?We gonna get a little place? to ?An' live on the fatta the lan'?, p.103-104. But this time a lack of details is noticed in the telling. The details George gives while telling this ritual story suggest how much he believes in it: the less he believes in it, the less details he gives. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curley's wife is part of the ending of the novel: her death is the last event before Lennie's death. Her own ending is felt by the audience from the beginning: she's the only woman in the barn, she's alone, and this clearly justifies why she died; she didn't belong there. So Steinbeck chose to create sympathy for this character. He does this by several ways. Firstly by placing her in a relationship where she is alone: she's victim of her husband, she's never with him and therefore looks for him (?I'm looking for Curley?), she's the only woman in the barn (not in the book because there is also Aunt Clara) and she complains. Her physical image is a key symbol to her: ?She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up; her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers?; she seems to want to be and to feel pretty, to put some femininity in the barn therefore to show she's a real woman and not to become like the men with which she lives everyday. So the sense of an ending in this novel is felt because of symbols, emotional effects, several techniques used by the author, different links between characters and aspects of the novel, and the use of narratives which proves us that every narrative has its beginning, and its end. ...read more.

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