John Steinbeck's - Of Mice And Men

Essay by smoothmediaHigh School, 12th gradeB+, May 2004

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John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is filled with colourful characters and well developed moods beautifully contrasted with each other as the plot progresses. An excellent example of this occurs in the opening and closing episodes of the novel. The story's introduction is set in the same geographical location as its conclusion. Even though both episodes occur at exactly the same location, in other aspects of setting the two are very different. The mood varies tremendously between the beginning and end of the book. Another difference lies in George's feelings about Lennie. His confidence in Lennie changes dramatically from when they had first arrived at the ranch to when Lennie fled to the forest at the end of the novel. Steinbeck intentionally uses the same location in his opening and closing episodes to sum up the events of the novel and to show how things have changed for George and Lennie.

Of Mice and Men starts and ends in exact same place, on the bank of a small stream in the woods. It is the spot where George, in chapter 1, told Lennie to meet him should something go wrong. Steinbeck uses the same words to describe the locale in both instances. He describes in the same way both times, a snake weaving its way through the water. In chapter one Steinbeck writes "A water snake slipped along on the pool, its head held up like a little periscope" and in the final chapter he writes "A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side". At first glance the last episode appears to be almost an exact duplicate of the first. George even talks to Lennie in the same way he did in the first chapter, as if nothing bad has...