Mice and Men: Difference from Beginning and End

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“The gardener swiftly slit the throats of the flowers, knotting them into compact batches. Their petals spilled down to the floor in clusters of ebony, ivory and crimson.”

“The gardener snipped the stems of the flowers, gathering them into small bunches. Their petals trickled down to the floor in varieties of ebony, ivory, and crimson.”

The two sentences shown above articulate the same setting and scene; even so the two are not identical. Where sentence one leaves the reader a bitter feel, sentence two leaves one at ease, untroubled because of its perspective of the scene. This distinction in description is also displayed in John Steinback’s novella Of Mice and Men. Steinback composes two passages, the first the opening of the first chapter, and the second the opening of the sixth chapter (the last chapter). These two texts describe a site that the two main protagonists of the plot, Lennie Small and George Milton, visit both in the very beginning and very end of the book. However, similar to sentence one and sentence two, the mood from these two passages is vastly contrasting. Owed to the fact that Steinback uses imagery, and vocabulary techniques to affect the mood of the text of the first passage: zestful and relaxed, to the second passage: biting and barren.

In chapter one the three beginning paragraphs deal with a significant volume of description about the small clearing, detailing a zestful, unworried, natural environment. “Rabbits…sit on the sand,” and “the…flats are covered with the …tracks of ‘coons,” “dogs” and “deer” This exhibits a sense of energy in the passage, because Steinback manipulates the doings of animals to create a lively atmosphere, like how the animals freely pass along the clearing and do what they please (1). A startling contrast to chapter six, where the only two animals described are of the heron “motionless…[standing] in the shallows” and of a water snake “[gliding] smoothly up the pool” (6). Due to the fewer described...
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