Symbols-of Mice and Men

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Symbols.

1. Light-Steinbeck repeatedly tells us the state of light before starting a scene. The light represents freedom and dark is constriction. “both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was standing there looking in” She is symbolically trapped in a rectangle of light, similar to how George and Lennie were trapped in the shrinking sphere of light created by the fire earlier. 2. Rabbits- Lennie’s obsession with rabbits shows his innocence and how much like a child he is. 3. The farm- George and Lennie’s American dream.

4. George’s language- moulded by society.
5. Jackson fork- the fork hanging above Lennie after he killed Curley’s wife, perhaps seen as the sword of Damocles, hanging by its thread and implying impending doom. 6. The sun slicing through the cracks of the barn- bars of a prison. 7. Chains - two most recurrent symbols for captivity-darkness and chains. George is trapped after Lennie kills her and there is only one way out of the situation. 8. Horses- “the barn was alive now. The horses stamped and snorted, and they chewed the straw of their bedding and they clashed the chains of their halters”-the mood of the horses mirrors the events of the story-they stayed silent almost out of respect as she died, now are frantic as to show the inevitable chaos about to take place. 9. Snake killed by bird- death is an uncaring force that strikes without warning and without mercy. Can live so carefully and still die. 10. Hands- throughout the novel men are defined by what they do with their hands. Candy’s missing hand symbolises his impotence he is in complete. 11. Candy’s dog-poorly society, human existence. The strong always come out on top. “God he was a good sheep dog when he was younger” dog owners begin to look like their dog. Implies that whilst the dog used to be competent, so was candy. 12. Bunk house- simplistic lifestyle, lack of individuality. 13....
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