Places In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

423 Words2 Pages
The novel Of Mice and Men is set during the great depression in Soledad, California, which was seen as the Promised Land to many Americans. Instead, Soledad (Spanish for lonely) was a home for discrimination, danger and death. This essay explores the ways Steinbeck presents places in Of Mice and Men. The 4 main places I will centre my essay on consist of the Salinas River, bunkhouse, Crook’s room and the dream farm. The harsh reality of a migrant worker’s life is a huge contrast to the tranquil Salinas River that the story begins and ends with. Straight away the River seems to be blissful and inviting, much like a rural paradise. Likewise, the sibilance in the phrase ‘slopes curved up to the strong’ creates a soothing tone. Colours such as ‘green’ and ‘golden’ suggest life and hope, which are major themes in the novel. A ‘heron’, ‘rabbits’ and a ‘water snake’ also display the simplicity of life. The ‘twinkling... yellow sands’ could represent the wealth George and Lennie wish to acquire, however the ‘twinkling’ suggests that the dream is childish and similar to a mirage. In the same way, the ‘ash pile’ and ‘worn... limb’ indicate that the path followed by George and Lennie has been travelled upon by many other itinerant workers and ‘tramps’. This belittles the dream making it seem unachievable. Additionally, ‘tramps’ embody loneliness and…show more content…
This shows that the workers are considered to be the same, making them easily replaceable. They sleep on uncomfortable ‘burlap’ mattresses and keep their few belongings in an ‘apple box’ that is ‘nailed’ to the wall. The bleak conditions the men stay in make the reader realise that a migrant workers life is considered worthless. However, Steinbeck allows the reader to feel optimistic for the men by incorporating metaphors about hope. The ‘sun threw a bright dust-laden bar’ could mean that the light is overpowering the darkness in their lives, but even here the light is tainted by
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