How does Steinbeck’s presentation of the bunk house in section 2 reveal the harsh conditions of ranch life?

Topics: Human skin color, Race and Ethnicity, Of Mice and Men Pages: 2 (688 words) Published: November 2, 2013
How does Steinbeck’s presentation of the bunk house in section 2 reveal the harsh conditions of ranch life?

Steinbeck presents the harsh and cruel conditions of ranch life as a microcosm. He is depicting life in America in the 1930’s making sure that we understand how much citizens suffered during the New York Wall Street Crash. Ranch life affected the lives of many people in America, some of who has become miserable and unhappy. Steinbeck shows the conditions of ranch life using dialect. After describing the “bright dust-laden bar of light” creating a beautiful and peaceful scenario, Steinbeck interrupts this with the cruel rough voice of Candy saying to George and Lennie, “the boss was expectin’ you last night.” Steinbeck shows us that George and Lennie cannot make their own rules and how they must obey the strict rules of the ranch now. Steinbeck determines Candy’s social class by using phonetic spelling. This suggests that the bottom of the hierarchy is where they belong. By the description Steinbeck presents us with of the bunk house, we empathise with many of the characters. We understand that the characters live and work in poor conditions based on Steinbeck’s portrayal. “Near one wall there was a black cast-iron stove.” This suggests how physically small the bunk house is as the stove is close to the bunks. In modern day we would consider placing a stove next to a bed as a health hazard but, Steinbeck presents this in a way that shows us how they cannot choose the life that they wish to have instead they have to live the life given to them, no matter how dangerous and hard that life may be. Steinbeck mentions that there are “small, square windows” in the bunk house. This proves how the characters suffer from entrapment in the bunk house but they are helpless.

Although Curley’s wife does not physically live in terrible conditions, Steinbeck introduces her with much insecurity, therefore making life on the ranch rather cruel, emotionally, for her....
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