Critical Commentary on "Of Mice and Men" and "Equal Rites"

Essay by sstephanieHigh School, 11th grade June 2005

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When comparing John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and Terry Prachett's "Equal Rites" quite a few similarities can be spotted.

To start with, both of them have the very distinctive characteristic of introducing the setting first as if it was a character itself. This makes the reader very familiar with the background and the atmosphere is set.

The first line of "Equal Rites": "A bass note sounds." Already gives a sense of suspense, which increases gradually, setting the pace. "Of Mice and Men" too, has the setting introduced on its own. The similarity of its introduction to that of a live character is further emphasized by the fact that some elements of the background are personified: "The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling........the narrow pool".

Both texts then have secondary characters introduced to the setting. In "Equal Rites" the quote "most unpleasantly armed starcruiser........

miles long" illustrates that; equally, the following moment in Of Mice and Men": "Rabbits come out of the brush..." shows secondary characters. This serves to create an ambience of life and the characters are a reflection of the background, again, aiming at setting the scene and making the reader familiar with the background.

They then direct the reader's view to a new point, which makes part of the background, but is introduced in more detail. In "Equal Rites" that place is the planet Earth, there's a brief description on it where characters are mentioned but not shown or developed on any further but at that point of the text. This can be easily compared with the description of "...a path through the willows and among the sycamore, a path beaten hard by jungle-up near the water.", on " Of Mice and Men", for it...