How Does Steinbeck Create Tension In Chapter 6 Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s novel, “Of Mice and Men”, begins with the vivid description of the Central Valley of California and the Salinas River, with Lennie and George discussing their plans with their new job in the ranch. The atmosphere is hopeful, representing a fresh new experience for them. However, chapter six opens with the very same setting, but the situation is stark in comparison. Details in the nature are described more darkly. Lennie is going insane by guilt and George is ultimately forced to end his close companion’s life with his own hands. In John Steinbeck’s novel, “Of Mice and Men” he shows how chapter six’s contrasting atmosphere represents the destruction of hopes and dreams in contrast to chapter one.

Chapter six opens with a more melancholic mood in contrast to chapter one. The whole feel of the chapter is more tranquil, details of the nature and movements of the characters, such as Lennie coming out of his brush “like a creeping bear” (Steinbeck 100). As repeatedly foreshadowed, Lennie hid behind the bush George told him about, terrified about his reaction. He tells himself softly: “I din’t forget, you bet by God. Hide in the brush and wait for George. [...] George gonna give me hell” …show more content…

In contrast, chapter six demonstrates the book closing with a grim end, with their dreams crushed. In chapter one, George recited the story of their future plans to Lennie to pick up their hopes. In chapter six’s instance, he used it to calm and distract Lennie from his breakdown, before shooting him. Due to the circumstances leading to this chapter, it's clear that their dream cannot continue no matter what. It was a pipe dream, unable to come true in a dark reality. “Dreaming, however, is humanity's only defense against an indifferent world [...] George survives because he leaves behind his unrealistic dreams” (“Of Mice and Men”

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