close reading Essay

Submitted By puddentang12
Words: 936
Pages: 4

Of Mice And Men
Close Reading

“A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting it periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.” -Of Mice and Men Sec. 6 Par. 2
Syntax:
Throughout the novella John Steinbeck uses his arrangement of writing remarkably well to tell the story of George and Lennie. In the above paragraph Steinbeck uses Compound complex sentences to enhance the description of the scene and much as possible. He continually uses the word “and” to keep adding images. The entire paragraph is just two sentences, however its description goes a long way of describing to readers what’s happening.
Diction:
Diction can go a very long way when describing a scene and creating the mood of a passage. In the above paragraph powerful diction is used to set the mood of the preceding chapter. “A water snake glided smoothly up the pool” “…and came to the legs of a motionless heron.” “..A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head.” Smoothly, Motionless, and silent all portray a feeling of peace and serenity, Steinbeck used these words to transitions from the dramatic sequences of the last paragraph and create a more concentrated and focused mood during the start of the new. However Steinbeck quickly contradicted himself when he stated that the “ A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.” The word frantically moves to a more dramatic mood, so with the quick transition between peace and suspenseful it can be inferred that something is going to happen later on in the chapter.
Figurative Language:
Figurative language is important, especially in this paragraph because it sets up the most dramatic part of the novella. The most evident example would have to be the foreshadowing within the excerpt. The paragraph starts by describing a peaceful scene and reminds readers of the beginning of the book when George and Lennie stayed by the water before heading to the farm. Readers remember that George told Lennie to come back there if he was in trouble. When the author writes “plucked out by the head and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically,” readers are interrupted from the calm thoughts and moved to a more odd and dramatic sequence, this clearly shows that something in the following chapter is going to happened and its going to be unexpected and suspenseful. Steinbeck used this technique many times within the novella.
Another example of figurative language in the passage would be imagery. When reading this piece readers are transported to the scene and can actually feel the calm waters of the pond and see nature’s animals. The author used many techniques to perfect this, he used diction, he appealed to the serenity of nature, and he also used power of description.
Rhetoric:
The language of this piece would be a simplified deep description. The author uses somewhat of a simple way of writing to make a deep and lasting description that gives readers a better idea of where they are in the story and what’s going to happen next.
Connotation/Denotation
The author used many words within the passage that could require an explanation, when he compared the snakes head to periscope, many may…