Literature Analysis of the Novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

H/WOf Mice and Men Notes up to page 95. 11. 12 Page 3 – On this page I thought that John Steinbeck described the overall setting of the place. “A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. ” Straightaway Steinbeck sets the scene and puts us in place. The description on this page is visual and also audial. The writer achieves this by saying, “recumbent limbs” and “skittering”. Steinbeck personifies the trees branches by saying they are “recumbent limbs”.
I think this is very descriptive and a good use of a stylistic device (personification). The word “skittering” is almost onomatopoeic which is audial and one of the five senses. The first paragraph is quite figurative and lyrical. He uses “green”, “dark” and “pool” quite often, which makes the passage flow more, signifies the setting and repetitive so the reader remembers it. Page 4 – This page concentrates on introducing the two main characters, George and Lennie. But before John Steinbeck begins this, there is more description about the setting. “The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. This use of personification is very clever and also a good use of imagery. Steinbeck uses alliteration, “sculptured stones”. The effect of this is to show the comparison between the shade climbing, the sound of someone nearing and the stillness of the rabbits. Then John Steinbeck introduces the two characters. “Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats. “The characters are straightaway linked and shown to the reader as a pair, which brings about the closeness of their relationship and are then described on their own.
George is “small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp strong features” and Lennie is the complete opposite. He is described as being “a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. ” Lennie is also likened to a horse, “snorting into the water like a horse. ” We straightaway get a sense of their characters in about half a page. Page 5 – George is more sharp and gentle. We know that he is more in control/charge and powerful, whilst Lennie is very easily pleased and childlike.

Some words/phrases, which describes Lennie’s character, are, “smiled happily”, “Lennie dabbled” and “Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly”. On this page John Steinbeck mainly describes the characters stylistically. We have also been put into Lennie’s head and visualizing things from his perspective, which I think is a very clever technique and something I would also like to use. Page 6 – In the next few pages there is quite a lot of dialogue. This is a good way to put the reader into the setting. As the speech is colloquial it makes it more realistic.
From this speech we can tell that George definitely has more authority. He calls Lennie a “crazy bastard” numerous times, which is quite harsh. This shows the tension and responsibility on George and on the other hand, Lennie is looking “timidly” and is saying things more “softly” which makes him more vulnerable. Page 7 – This page is also mainly full of dialogue. There are more adverbs to describe the way the two characters speak to each other and their characteristics. Lennie speaks “gently” and “in despair”. He is always scared of what George might think and always wants his approval, which is very childlike characteristic.
Again, George looses his temper and calls Lennie “a crazy bastard” and “looked sharply at him”. Then Lennie and George have an argument over a dead mouse. Lennie on one hand wants to keep the mouse and claims he didn’t kill it and as George is practical he says no and throws it away in the end. One phrase I liked was, “Lennie’s closed hand slowly obeyed. ” This shows George’s higher status and how Lennie has to eventually give in and obey. Page 8 – One phrase that represents Lennie’s character is “I forgot. ” On this page George and Lennie have a father to son conversation. “’O. K.
Now when we go in to see the boss, what you gonna do? ” “I…ain’t gonna say nothin’. Jus’ gonna stand’ there. ” “Good boy. That’s swell. You say that over two, three times do you sure won’t forget it. ”’ George is acting like Lennie’s father by treating him as a child and by speaking at his level so he will understand. “A light of understanding broke on Lennie’s face. ” Page 9 – On this page John Steinbeck brings some things back up, e. g. “Lennie imitated him, raising his head to see whether he were doing it right” and “sycamore limbs rustled under a little wind that died immediately. The writer uses this this to make the reader recognize the area and the little things. George says “God you’re a lot of trouble. I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail. ” George directly says this to him, which made Lennie upset and unwanted. We later on find out that George needs Lennie to stay with him. One thing I noticed is that Lennie said “hopefully” and on page 5 George says “hopelessly” so it just shows that George is pessimistic and goes back to how they are opposites both physically and mentally.

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