How Does Steinbeck Use Animal Imagery In Of Mice And Men

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Throughout chapters 3 and 4 of Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses detailed descriptions of animal imagery to convey his ideas. Throughout pages 61 and 62, Lennie and Curley get into a fist fight when Lennie angered Curley. Although Lennie didn't want to fight Curley, he had no choice once he was told to by George. While knowing that hands are a motif to people, during the fight the author says, “The next minute Curley was flopping like a fish on a line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s big hand (62).” Clearly, when a fish is flopping it on a line, it is vulnerable because it is out of its natural habitat and gasping for water. When describing a powerful character in this way, it's concluded that they have lost their power and in their most vulnerable state. …show more content…

Also, when the author explains his “fists being lost in Lennie’s big hand” (62) shows that Curley had no power in this situation because his hands were completely covered. Similarly, the author also describes Curley’s defeat in the fight: “He stood crying, his fist lost in Lennie’s paw (62).” This is interesting because bears have been drawn up earlier in the book as well, so you could infer that Lennie is being represented as a bear. One could draw the conclusion that Curley lost all of his power due to the fact that Steinbeck described him as a fish, and Lennie as a bear. And bears eat fish. Although Curley regularly has more power than Lennie on the ranch, when Lennie was told to exert all of his strength out on Curley, he did, and he defeated him. This also connects to a reoccurring message about Lennie of not being aware of his own

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