Similarities are used as well as the contrasting of characters. (Candy and his dog) By likening the dog to Candy, and Candy to the dog, an atmosphere which is created leads to one of the important themes of the book, the American Dream. The atmosphere itself helps us understand more about the life of the workers, where there is tension between workers “watched him uneasily”, and where it is a very cruel world, “I ain’t much good”. As previously mentioned, animal, light and sound imagery can be used very effectively to portray a certain atmosphere, but there are also other words Steinbeck uses to help him in this creation.
“Fumed” can show anger in a character, making an atmosphere totally different to “sighed”. The description of the bunkhouse at the beginning of chapter two, we can see all the techniques used by Steinbeck to create atmosphere. The light images of sunlight, ” bright dust-laden bar” highlights, where things will happen later on in the story. The plain words like “unpainted” help to create an atmosphere, describing the bunkhouse. References to sound, “flies shot in” uses onomatopoeia and creates movement like the beginning of the book.
Finally, adding characters to the bunkhouse, “Stoop-shouldered” gives the imagery of the bunkhouse and its roughness and an image of the tiredness of the men. Using the imagery of light and sound, he sets the scene, then giving it life and relations to the reader using animal imagery, giving u the feeling you are there in the story watching what is happening. He finishes the effect by adding certain people into certain situations, Steinbeck has created an interesting story line and the way George and Lennie’s relationship has worked out.
Animal imagery is used to describe the characters, but also their movements, which give us an idea of the overall atmosphere. Steinbeck has an amazing ability to create atmosphere. From the very start of the story you can tell that Lennie and George are very poor by the clothes they wear and they do not have backpacks they are carrying bindles with very little possessions in. Also they have to heat and eat the baked beans they have with them out of the tin as they do not have a saucepan or tin opener between them. This gives you a very good idea to how the two men are used to living.
Loneliness affects all the characters, this is portrayed very well by Steinbeck and how the loneliness is making the characters life harder. This is due to the fact they never have a job for long enough to make permanent friends. You never find out much about the other characters as Steinbeck focuses on george and Lennie constantly, but you do learn that they are all going through the same and you find out the main characteristics of all the characters. Violence plays a large part through the story, mainly linked to Curley and Lennie. Curley made many threats to lennie and does eventually go through with what he is saying.
The job at the ranch the two men have taken on is very hard and Steinbeck describes this very well by using phrases such as hard enough work to ‘bust a gut’. The bunkhouse they are staying in on the ranch is in very bad condition and the whole place is dirty and disgusting showing how bad conditions for men during those days were and what people would do just to get a bit of money. As the story develops u discover why the two men are there in the first place. George, the more mature of the two men looks after Lennie and you get the impression that Lennie needs a lot of support and isn’t capable of doing things on his own.
Lennie has an obsession with soft furry things but due to his strength suffocates the mouse he gets, and this plays along throughout the story. The two men are dependent on each other but George tries to not show this to anyone. Lennie is very childish and is often referred to as having animal characteristics. When the two men arrive at the ranch and first meet the boss Lennie is told to be quiet, first u do not understand why but is eventually made clear, if he spoke he may of lost the two men their jobs due to an incident at the previous place.
Lennie does not realise his own strength and gets himself in a lot of trouble. He seems to have difficulty understanding simple instructions and its George who always has to help him out of trouble. Parts of the story give you the impression that George can get very annoyed and uncomfortable with Lennie’s company and at several points threatens to leave him on his own and they will not live the ‘American Dream. ‘ The dream is one of the ways the two men combat their loneliness, by having the dream in their minds it makes them have faith and hope for the future instead f just giving up.
Lennie uses the dream as something that keeps him going and he often asked George to repeat it when he is feeling down and unloved. Their American dream was to get enough money to move on and start a new life just like Lennie wanted, on a farm with rabbits (soft). We find out that Lennie has feelings for Curley’s wife and that when he gets close to her in the barn he manages to break her neck when he panics as she started to scream as he wouldn’t let go of her because her hair was soft.
Lennie is very vulnerable to the outside world and has no understanding of the world and what’s going on around him. Steinbeck describes him very well, as he does George. You get the feeling of the emotions these two men are going through to get through life. It is a very good story and John Steinbeck is a very good author. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search for y