Literary Elements in of Mice and Men

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The 1930s novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck was written during the Great Depression, a time of many financial complications and hopelessness for the American population. It takes place in rural northern California in the town of Soledad, which was where the author grew up. Steinbeck uses his memories and recollections to paint an incredibly vivid landscape in each scene mentioned in the story. Of Mice and Men follows the seemingly futile journey of George Milton and Lennie Small on their quest to make a better life for themselves. Getting to their goal does have its complications, however. Even the differences between the two main characters cause conflict. Along the way, they come face to face with difficulties including an overly flirtatious woman, a violent, pugnacious man who happens to be the boss’s son, and Lennie’s inability to realize his own strength. Steinbeck nearly perfectly creates an atmosphere that conveys mood, reveals theme, and builds dynamic characters.

Mood is a very important aspect of literature. It can help the reader get the feel of the book. John Steinbeck is an expert at creating mood as visible in many sections of each chapter. In the beginning of the book, Steinbeck makes a mood of peace and familiarity clearly visible. He does this so well because he is describing the setting of the area he grew up in. Steinbeck uses his knowledge of the scenery to help the reader feel as familiar with it as he is.

The first paragraph of the passage builds a mood of peace and happiness. When the text reads, “The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool” I could almost feel the warm water on my feet. By using this kind of descriptive imagery, the reader can attribute it with each of their five senses; in this case, the sense of touch. Another example of using imagery to create mood is in the part, “…but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh...
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