The Role Of Geography In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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What is literature if not an author’s imaginative response to what occurs around them? John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a prime example of just that. His experiences living during the Great Depression in America is reflected through the geography in his book and the meanings behind it. The perceived geography of the novel; the river, the barn, and Crooks’s room; is so simplistic to allow the reader to see the effect of more discrete aspects of the setting. As Thomas Foster says in How to Read Literature like a Professor, “Geography is setting, but it’s also (or can be) psychology, attitudes, finance, industry- anything that place can forge in the people who live there.” Behind these small settings lays a few more important geographical aspect to Of Mice and Men.
The book was published in 1937, during
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In the first scene we see it as a place of hope, where the boys are able to rest and talk about their plans of the future. The end of the novel presents the lake as a place of false hope. Lennie is led to believe that if he meets George there that they will be able to move onto the next job and everything will be okay, but meeting George there actually leads to his death. The lake was a place of hope for Lennie, a safe place. The lake could in reality have stood for a false hope or an honest sense of hope throughout the whole novel. This is dependent upon George’s actions after the end of the novel. If George follows the other men into a life of wandering and spending his money at brothels, the lake must have symbolized a false hope, because the dream of a good settled life was never going to come true. But if George actually got the farm and made a life for himself, the lake could have symbolized an honest hope. The hope Lennie felt about the lake led George to kill Lennie, giving George a better chance at a normal life. A hope of finally buying the farm and not having the burden of Lennie to worry

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