Of Mice and Men: How Does the Writer Create a Memorable Climax in Chapter 5?

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How Does The Writer Create A Memorable Climax In Chapter 5?

The most intense moment in the Novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ is when Lennie murders Curley’s Wife in Chapter 5. Although something bad was foreshadowed from the beginning of the book, it is not until that shocking and moving episode when Lennie accidentally kills her, that the reader finally loses hope of their utopian dream of the farm and the rabbits ever succeeding.

Chapter 5 begins with a peaceful description of a ‘lazy’ and ‘warm’ Sunday afternoon. This calmness gives the reader a sense that this could be the peace before the storm and that something bad is soon to happen. It also contrasts drastically with the ‘bad thing’ that Lennie has just done being that he killed the puppy. ‘Now the light was lifting as the sun went down’ Steinbeck uses pathetic fallacy to describe the light and this gives an ominous feeling. The ending of the day signifies the ending of a life and the reader can sense this

In this chapter all of the men are outside in the yard playing a horseshoe game whilst Lennie is alone in the barn. The reader can sense that something bad could happen soon because bad things happen when Lennie is alone. it also reminds the reader that he is very childlike and relies on George to guide him all the time. ‘Little dead puppy’ is a warning sign and a reminder of how Lennie doesn’t know his own strength. Another reminder is when Curley’s Wife says ‘An’ if Curley gets tough, you can break his other hand’ she clearly knows that he’s dangerous and strong but is unaware as to what extent. The reader can also learn that Lennie’s anger is triggered by fear; he gets angry with the dog because he’s scared of the consequences; ‘George aint gonna let me tend no rabbits’ and he accidentally kills Curley’s wife when he panics that her screams will get him in trouble. When Lennie’s anger rises, it is very sudden and threatening and when he throws the dead dog, the reader can begin to think of what...
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