Rhetoric in of Mice and Men

Topics: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: April 3, 2013
AP Language and Composition

Rhetoric in Of Mice and Men
During 1929, many farmers lost their farm because of economic pressure, ending the American Dream for most people. Throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, reflects on farmer’s lives; their difficulties, hopes, and the want for a new start in California. This time period did not just effect farmers, it affected everyone--every man, every woman, every race. Steinbeck shows the reader that many people have dreams, but they do not reach them because they accept the position they are in. Steinbeck’s particular rhetorical styles develop his point of view, the impossibility of the American Dream, through the use of parallelism, syntax, and personification.

Steinbeck portrays emotional situations in the farmer’s lives explaining why they can not reach the American Dream through the use of parallelism. During the beginning of the novel, George, a farmer, describes the common life of farmers and people, and why they can not reach their dreams. He states, “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look forward to” (14). He uses parallelism to show and emphasize that the people realize they can not get farther in life because of all the troubles they face. Their basis in life is the need to work to survive; making their dreams unreachable. Besides using parallelism to portray reasons the farmers have nothing to look forward to, making it impossible to reach their dreams, Steinbeck also uses long sentence; syntax to represent the impossibility of reaching the American Dream.

The use of long sentence syntax reflects on the impossibility of an...

Cited: Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: the Penguin Group, 1993. 14-88. Print.
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