Word Choice In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men is a timeless classic. Within the novel emerges many themes and life lessons: loneliness, friendship, survival, and more. However, though these seem to be the most central ideas of the novel, none of them could have been concluded without one major element. That element is setting. John Steinbeck himself was born in Salinas, California and grew up in that fertile valley. The environment and nature had a huge role in shaping and developing many of his works, and Of Mice and Men is no exception. The novel is centered around Soledad and the Salinas River in California during the Great Depression. This information that is given to the readers is just surface knowledge. To truly dive below the surface of understanding…show more content…
At the beginning of each chapter Steinbeck takes up a page or two to explain the initial setting of that chapter. For example, at the beginning of chapter two, the bunkhouse, where George and Lennie will reside for the majority of the novel, is described in great detail. Steinbeck uses word choice in this part of the novel to introduce the reader to this new place in the setting. It may sometimes seem that Steinbeck goes over the top to integrate the reader into the environment that he has created, but without the proper word choice, the connection to the setting would be lost. This can be seen in the description of the items in the bunkhouse. Steinbeck adds items such as, “small, square windows [...] a solid door with a wooden latch” (17). This description of the bunkhouse puts the reader in the shoes of the characters, thus letting them have a more personal relation to the setting, characters and themes of the novel. Besides the description at the beginning of each chapter, a major instance of word choice is the actual name of the town that the ranch is in. The name of this town is Soledad, meaning solitude or alone. This use of word choice is very important in aiding one of the major themes in the novel,
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