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Describe the beginning and ending of a text, explain why its important. "Of Mice and Men", by John Steinbeck

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  • September 6, 2006
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In the novella "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck the beginning and ending is very important. In the beginning Steinbeck describes the setting of the Salinas River and the environment it is in, stating how quiet and undisturbed the area is. This is also where the two main characters, George and Lennie are introduced. In this section the reader is also introduced to the way in which Steinbeck writes, using a lot of dialogue and literal language. At the end of the novella a key event takes place. One of the main characters is killed. This is very important as it highlights the strength of a friendship and by doing this, it also prevents greater wrongs from taking place.

The novella begins with an in-depth description of the Salinas River, with the Gabilan Mountains on one side and the other covered in trees, with a path leading through the trees and out of sight. Steinbeck reinforces the fact that it is a very tranquil and serene setting, with little human interference, just the animals in their natural habitat. However the location is then disrupted when George and Lennie run into the area, upsetting the local wildlife and breaking the peaceful image. This is important as it reflects what happens at the end of the novella where George and Lennie are sitting in a similar environment, having a calm and peaceful conversation and then Lennie gets shot, disrupting the serenity of the area once again.

Once Steinbeck has finished describing the setting he then begins to describe the two main characters in the novella, George Milton and Lennie Small. He describes George as "small" and "quick", with "dark features" and "restless eyes". Steinbeck describes Lennie by often referring to him as animals, such as a "bear" and "terrier dog", he also uses animal's features to describe Lennie's size, for example "Lennie dabbled his paw in the water". Steinbeck does this to show Lennie's social status, that which is sub-human because of his mental illness. Steinbeck...