Of Mice and Men

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How does Steinbeck use details in this passage to present the bunkhouse and its inhabitants? a) In 'Of Mice and Men' Steinbeck presents the inhabitants as lonely men with nothing going for them in their lives. There is only “two shelves” in the bunkhouse, which implies that the ranch workers have no personal belongings suggesting that they have no family or have no family they care about. Steinbeck clearly shows very little family devotion as the ranch workers have few belongings.

Also, not only does Steinbeck represent them as lonely, but he also uses the description to imply that there is not very much wealth either. “talcum powder, razors and those Western magazines”. This also implies that they have little belongings as they are short on money and the ranch work is not good pay.

The decor of the bunkhouse is very plain conveying the inhabitants' way of life as well as how they view their 'home'. "Inside the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted”. This shows not only that the bunkhouse is very poorly looking, but also the fact that very little happens and the place is very dull. The word 'white' indicates plain, reflecting on the ranch workers’ daily lives, which consist of plain and boring.

Not only is the room scarcely decorated, but the interior is very cheap. The workers do not even have any chairs to sit on. Instead they have “grouped boxes” for people to sit on. This conveys the message that they live with what they have, and they are most likely happy with that. On the table there were “playing cards”, indicating the workers like to play cards and possibly gamble, which is also a type of game that associates with the theme of loneliness.

In conclusion, Steinbeck presents the bunkhouse and its inhabitants as bleak and lonely, the place barely liveable. The “lice, roaches, and other scourges” is an example of the terrible hygiene that they had to live through, which can affect the way some of these workers think and act. b)...
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