Of Mice And Men Essay

Submitted By Nines99
Words: 1136
Pages: 5

In the novella, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, places are used at beginning of each chapter throughout the whole story. The significance of the places in the story is that they create atmosphere and help reinforce some key messages that the author wants to get across to the reader. Steinbeck presents: the place near the pool, the bunkhouse, the dream farm, Crook’s room and the barn. The dream farm is not a real place it is in the main characters’ minds. The place near the pool is presented twice. Steinbeck does this so the structure is cyclical. Steinbeck shows that the each place is symbolic and represents the main characters or themes.
In the beginning of section 1, Steinbeck presents to us the place near the pool as a beautiful paradise. Steinbeck creates a soothing and calming setting. This makes us wonder if he is trying to lead the reader in to a false sense of security. Steinbeck uses pathetic fallacy “in the sunlight” to create a positive, harmonious and tranquil atmosphere, “The water is warm too” suggests that the place is inviting, restorative and is a source of comfort. It is juxtaposed to many of the other settings in the book: cold, ruthless and intimidating. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to tell the readers that this place can be very dangerous. Things can turn on their heads quickly. “winter is flooding” could be that the tough times are coming while things seem hopeful. This links to the lives of George and Lennie because their dream seems to be a reality but it is taken away after the unforeseen event that happens. This place is comparable to the Garden of Eden because only George and Lennie knew about this place which is also used at the end of the story. If the reader was to see someone other than George or Lennie go to this place it would give the reader a sense of invasion. At the end of the novella Steinbeck describes the place like hell. He creates imagery by making this place begin like Garden of Eden, at the end it is as if the apple has been eaten and a sin has occurred. “The mountains seemed blaze with increased brightness”. This tells the reader a dramatic climax is about to occur.
At the beginning of section 2, Steinbeck presents the bunkhouse as a metaphor for the ranch workers life. The first line of the chapter is lacking colour, description; it also has a mundane, monotonous rhythm. “The bunk was a long rectangular building. Inside, the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted.” This line implies routine and boredom. Steinbeck might be trying to link the workers day to the structure of his novella as cyclical. Steinbeck presents the workers trapped in their own existence. “Long, rectangular building”. The shape that Steinbeck gives us is common. There are no distinguishing or interesting features. He wants to represent the lives of the ranch workers and present to the reader an image of a prison. “Bunkhouse”. The workers are trapped here because they don’t have their own places. Steinbeck also tries to create an unimportant atmosphere. The name is simply functional because it is a place where people exist rather than live. Steinbeck shows how the ranch workers are unimportant and that they live in a place that is unimpressive, insignificant and lacking character. The bunkhouse symbolises masculinity because it is a place of men.
In the beginning of section 3, Steinbeck presents Crooks’ room; his room is symbolic of his life. Steinbeck uses juxtaposition to make it very clear to reader that Crooks is on his own, isolated and separated from the main body of men, “had his bunk in the harness room”. Contrast to the main bunkhouse where they were eight together. Steinbeck shows segregation between the ranch workers and Crooks. He wants to make it clear that this was normal in those times because the ranch workers would use racial slurs confidently. Steinbeck uses imagery to create the idea that Crooks is not being treated like a human but like an animal. “Crooks’ bunk was a long box…