Of mice and men

Topics: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: May 11, 2014
Of mice and men
Section B

Question 21

How does Steinbeck use details in this passage to present the bunkhouse and its inhabitants?

In the novel “Of Mice And Men”, Steinbeck presents the bunkhouse as being very hostile and unfriendly through the use of adjectives,”the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted”. This portrays the simple nature of the bunkhouse and it's only purpose: housing the ranch hands. The adjective, “whitewashed” presents the clinical nature of hospital which the patients can not personalise. Therefore, indicates the lack of identity the habitants have.

The bunkhouse is portrayed as being an uncomfortable place through the use of nouns,”burlap ticking”. This implies that the bunkhouse was not a luxurious habitat for the migrant workers because the noun,”burlap” is associated with being coarse and rough. Perhaps Steinbeck did this to show the reader the simplicity of the lives of the migrant workers.

The bunkhouse is also portrayed as not being a hygienic place,”a small yellow can”. The reader can infer from Steinbeck’s description that it is a pesticide. Steinbeck does this to symbolise that the inhabitants had to cope with the depressing reality of the effects of the Great Depression as they were living in it. It indicates that they were living with pests such as, “lice” and “roaches” to show that the inhabitants’ lives was full of bad events that they had to face up to. As they were living in the bunkhouse, it shows that they were surrounded by those pests with no hope of escape from it. The little problems of their lives accumulate because it is a shared problem, they had to learn to work together to face off these problems. Steinbeck conveys to the reader the importance of co-operation despite the lack of individuality in the bunkhouse.

The “soap” and “the talcum powder” emphasise that the inhabitants lived their lives to stay hygienic, but with a lack of personal possessions showing that the...
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