‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck is a clever and thought provoking book. Discuss this statement. ‘Of mice and Men’ written by john Steinbeck is a clever and thought provoking book in how the author uses the theme of loneliness. Many of the characters including Lennie, Crooks, George and Curley’s wife admit to once being lonely and isolated. Steinbeck shows very well how each of these characters loves the comfort of a friend but will settle for the odd stranger when they’re desperate for help. The amazing language and style of writing used by the author is shown clearly as it mirrors his characters.
Steinbeck’s technique of writing is clever and simple yet compelling because the characters are working class people who don’t have access to big vocabularies but he can still show the large amounts of emotions the characters have. John Steinbeck also explains things that seem difficult with the amount of detail he describes it with, with such ease. ‘At about ten o’clock in the morning the sun threw a bright dust-laden bar through one of the side windows, and in and out of the beams flies shot like rushing stars. ’ This description quickly creates the image in our minds using only short, simple, everyday words.
It’s also amazing in how Steinbeck’s language carries such elevated themes and emotions with simplicity. When George kills Lennie, Steinbeck allows the description to be as bare and straight-forward as what is happening. He does this to allow the reader to feel the sadness of the situation and makes it all the more shocking for them. Part of John Steinbeck’s brilliance is the subtle usage of language. He can make words sing and rhyme to give us a better image of what is taking place but he is very good in that the action or description doesn’t seem like it’s clouded over with poetry. Instead, it just reads like real life.
Steinbeck uses many places and settings as symbols to different themes, relationships between characters, emotions and places of discrimination: The pool by the river is the place where Lennie and George’s story begins and where Lennie and his dream farm ends. It is a safe place for the two characters to meet and where Lennie and George can be themselves. The bunkhouse is where conflict is most evident. Cruelty, violence, jealousy, and suspicion all arise here. Crooks’ room represents the retreat for him and his sadness. Here we see the most obvious signs of discrimination such as name calling, isolation, fear, and the threat of eath. The barn supposedly represents a safe place where animals can find shelter and warmth yet it is where Lennie kills his puppy and Curley’s wife. Lennie’s American dream is symbolic to his and George’s friendship. It is the thing that ties them together and keeps them working, even when times are hard. The re-telling of the dream almost comes across as if it was their religion as the farm is like their version of heaven, but when Lennie kills Curley’s wife, his dream comes to a halt. These brilliant skills used by John Steinbeck are what make this novel clever and thought provoking.