Steinbeck grew up in the beautiful, fertile Salinas Valley, and most of his memorable novels and short stories would be set in California.
Both men carry blanket rolls — called bindles — on their shoulders. The smaller, wiry man is George Milton. The two are on their way to a ranch where they can get temporary work, and George warns Lennie not to say anything when they arrive.
Because Lennie forgets things very quickly, George must make him repeat even the simplest instructions. Lennie also likes to pet soft things. In his pocket, he has a dead mouse which George confiscates and throws into the weeds beyond the pond.
As they get ready to eat and sleep for the night, Lennie asks George to repeat their dream of having their own ranch where Lennie will be able to tend rabbits. George does so and then warns Lennie that, if anything bad happens, Lennie is to come back to this spot and hide in the brush.
Before George falls asleep, Lennie tells him they must have many rabbits of various colors. Analysis Steinbeck accomplishes a number of goals in the first chapter of his story. All of this is accomplished with great economy and careful attention to word choices and repetition.
When the story opens, for example, the setting is a few miles south of Soledad, California, near the Salinas River. The novel has six scenes chaptersand each begins with a setting that is described in much the same way that a stage setting is described. All the action in this scene occurs in this one spot, much like a stage setting.
After the main action in the scene, the focus pulls away from the action, preparing the reader for the next scene. In the first chapter, for example, when the characters settle down to sleep for the night, the focus pulls away from the men to the dimming coal of their campfire, to the hills, and finally to the sycamore leaves that "whispered in the little night breeze.
The setting in this novel contains the "golden foothill slopes" and the "strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains. The rabbits, lizards, and herons are out in this peaceful setting.
The only signs of man are a worn footpath beaten hard by boys going swimming and tramps looking for a campsite, piles of ashes made by many fires, and a limb "worn smooth by men who have sat on it.
Their physical portrayal emphasizes both their similarities and their individuality. They both wear similar clothes and carry blanket rolls, and the larger man imitates the smaller. But they are more dissimilar than they are alike: One is huge and shapeless; the other small and carefully defined.
Lennie, the larger man, lumbers along heavily like a bear; George is small and has slender arms and small hands. The men also react differently to the pond: Lennie practically immerses himself in the water, snorting it up and drinking in long, greedy gulps.
He fills his hat and puts it on his head, letting the water trickle merrily down his shoulders. George, on the other hand, is more cautious, wondering about the quality of the water before he drinks a small sample.Of Mice and Men study guide contains a biography of John Steinbeck, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
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- Analysis of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck is a classic novel, tragedy, written in a social tone. The authorial attitude is idyllic, however, as the story develops it changes into skeptic.
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, published in , is one of the author's most widely read novels, largely due to its ubiquitous presence in the high school curriculum.
As a result, this mythic story of two opposites - the clever, wiry George Milton and the lumbering, powerful Lennie Small - has. Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck Concept Analysis Introduction/Basic Rationale The first chapter introduces the reader to the primary characters of the novel, Lennie and George, who are traveling to a new place to work.
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