Opening Sequence: In the beginning of Of Mice and Men it describes the Salinas River and a small wooded area around it. The setting is described as peaceful and calming versus how the ending plays out. Later it tells of two men walking down to the river, whose names we learn are George and Lennie. It is important to the development of the story that they stop here because George mentions to Lennie that if he were to ever get into any trouble to come back to the river and hide in the brush until George comes to find him. It also relates to the theme of the power of unity and friendship because there conversation around the fire shows that the will always stick together no matter how much trouble they get in or how much of a bother one may be. At the end of the story, after Lennie accidently kills Curley’s wife, Lennie goes to the river to wait for George. This is the location where George has to shoot Lennie because of his act of murder. The setting still remains unchanged even after so much has changed in the characters’ lives.
Closing Sequence: The closing scene is in the same location as the opening scene where we are first introduced to the characters Lennie and George. The closing scene is significant because George is forced to shoot Lennie due to his crime of killing Curley’s wife despite her slightly sexist underlying theme of being nothing but trouble. This changes George as a character when he is forced to shoot a person who is like family to him to prevent him from being tortured by Candy and the others. Before Lennie is shot by George he sees hallucinations of his Aunt Clara and a rabbit, these hallucinations tell him that he is a bother to George and that George would have a better, happier life if Lennie was not with him. Although after Lennie is gone George still experiences the feeling of great loss despite being rid of Lennie, provided a great example of the theme the power of unity and friendship.