Steinbeck uses the opening of his novel to introduce to us the main
characters of the novel and also to hint at the forthcoming events
that are yet to come in the novel.
In the opening Steinbeck describes the setting as a tranquil and
peaceful scene, which is almost like the Garden of Eden this, is
almost too good to be true this also describe George and Lennie's
Everything in the setting is natural, 'the deep green pool of the
Salinas River' and 'a far rush of wind sounded and a gust drove
through the tops of the trees like a wave. The language creates a
feeling of light and brightness, particularly the "twinkling" water.
The leaves are 'deep and so crisp' so that a lizard 'makes a great
skittering' as it runs through them. The sycamore leaves turned up
their silver sides, the brown, dry leaves on the ground scudded a few
feet'. By these descriptions we have an image of a delightful place
which is calm and peaceful almost like heaven.
Steinbeck then writes about the animals that live there and presents
them as belonging in this pastoral scene, the rabbits 'sit on the
sand' and the deer come to drink at the pool. The animals feel safe
and secure as we see form the rabbits 'sat as quietly as little grey
sculptured stones', they also feel unthreatened by people because they
are used to a lot of people walking past in the valley towards the
Gabilian Mountains, a lot of them are itinerant workers that move from
around the country quite often.
At the first glance of the tranquil setting, this seems to be
identical to the last chapter in the book, but the...
... middle of paper ...
.... George tells Lennie to look down the river and to
imagine the farm, George now starts to tell Lennie about the dream.
Lennie is now really focussing on the mental image of the farm in his
head just before George shoots him he tells Lennie about the rabbits
that he wants to tend. Lennie has been shot by George in the back of
the head where Candy's dog was shot, George felt he had to shoot
Lennie to save him form Curly and from being alone without George in a
mental institution. There are a few hints in the first chapter about
this event, when George talks about trouble and also what happened in
weed. By the last chapter Lennie's death is unavoidable, and we have
been prepared for it from the start of the book.
Steinbeck flags up his themes in the opening chapter and shows the
consequences in the ending of the novel.
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