Animal Imagery In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Animal Imagery Steinbeck uses vivid imagery throughout the story “Of Mice and Men” mostly in order to describe characters by relating them to animals. Many passages in the novel describe animals in depth like the rabbits of George and Lennie's farm or the old dog of Candy. In addition the characters are related to animals in many ways especially Lennie. Steinbeck used this approach to character development because it indirectly describes his characters and can be used to put an image of a character into the reader's mind. The imagery he uses also relates back to the main point of his story, which is about the working class people of the time. Lennie is compared to animals because of his character traits but also to represent the deeper meaning …show more content…
For example, George observed, “He walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his side, but hung loosely”(Steinbeck 2). This passage compares Lennie’s feet to paws of an animal and his loose arms as a strange thing for a man to do. George also observed, “-drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse” (Steinbeck 3). Yet another example of Steinbeck choosing to describe lennie as a horse and make him seem more like an animal than a human. Finally George says, “-Lennie’s so scared all he can think to do is just hold on- he was so scairt he couldn't let go of that dress” (Steinbeck 41). This shows that Lennie does not really have any thoughts like animals have no thoughts. They just do what comes to them naturally and will do something that they think is okay but people will not think it is okay. Steinbeck uses these images to paint a deeper picture of Lennie in the reader's mind. He also used this imagery to compare the working class to animals who are treated as less superior and are used for a masters purposes until they are too broken down to work anymore. Steinbeck’s use of imagery makes for a more interesting story and makes the reader use their head in order to find out what he is saying throughout the story. The mice represents Lennie as a innocent man, the bear represents Lennie as a strong, ferocious man, and the rabbit represents the wonderful future. That wonderful future when Lennie and George can have their own lives and can stop being used like animals by the many farms across the