Creating a Feeling, Establishing a Mood

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Set a mood. The tools that can be used are detailed descriptions and accuracy in structuring sentences. The author who wrote Of Mice and Men (the story regarding George Milton, Lennie Small, their dreams of one day owning land, and what they do to try to achieve that dream) does just that. One of the book’s key features is the method in which the various settings are written and described. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck sets a mood with each setting by the use of eloquent and vivid, or simple and plain descriptions, and different types of sentence structures. Steinbeck begins the story by creating a serene mood when describing the setting. He illustrates how the Salinas River looks, and stating that “the water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool. On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees—willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool” (1). Steinbeck’s word choice alone (“twinkling,” “golden,” and “fresh and green”) makes the setting appealing to the reader. The peaceful mood is created through the way he closely describes every detail; the images that the reader follows are animated and picturesque. He uses such a long sentence with semi-colons, commas, and dashes to make the passage flow smoothly, as opposed to choppy. The run-on like syntax he uses creates a comfortable feeling, showing that the Salinas River and everything surrounding it is an undisturbed area; the... ... middle of paper ... ...nt in the way Steinbeck structures the two sentences. When he writes the sentence for what is happening outside the barn, he writes a list (with no conjunction at the end); the sentence speeds up from the commas and lack of conjunction, showing that outside, the mood is active and energetic. When he writes the sentence for what is happening inside the barn, he writes a list (with “and” in between each word); the sentence slows down and becomes slack which follows along to the “quiet,” “humming,” “lazy,” and “warm” word choice. Steinbeck creates the serene, monotonous, and cozy feeling with his writing style; he uses a combination of elaborate descriptions and diverse syntax when describing a setting to create moods and feelings. The way that sentences are structured and the ways that things are described are the tools an author uses to create a mood or feeling.

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