How does John Steinbeck use language in different ways in "Of mice and men?"

John Steinbeck utilizes language in various methods throughout the story. It creates imagery and assists you comprehend the story even better. Also it indicates distinctions in characters and the setting of the story.

Steinbeck uses non-standard English for discussion. Lennie is depicted to be a sluggish childish character; he imitates a kid asking George lots of concerns about there ‘dream’. Lennie repeats this rather a lot “George the length of time it gon na be till we get the bunnies?” This is Lennies dream to have bunnies, and Steinbeck repeats this dream it’s a kind of rhythm throughout the book.

Likewise Lennie is more of a listener he doesn’t speak much to other characters apart from George unless he has too. He asks George regularly to “tell” him “about that place” where they are planning to move to when they have sufficient money, Lennie listens to George as though he was a moms and dad or guardian and gets excited while George inform him.

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This gives us the impression that George takes care of Lennie and keeps him safe.

Steinbeck makes George appear rather parent like. George is a talker, he tells the story of him and Lennie moving away to a place of there own typically to Lennie. We think that George sometimes gets rather sick of Lennie as he repeats things and asks George to tell him “the story” we can see this by “I jus’ tol’ you, jus’ las’ night” this is composed in an American method of speaking, he utilizes images as when you read this you state it to yourself in your head and you can imagine the way George is speaking.

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Also George seems to swear quite a lot and mainly towards Lennie where he calls him a “crazy bastard” this usage of profanity and pronunciation depicts George to be rather uneducated, we can anticipate this as Steinbeck was a farm labourer for a time.

The story was set in the 1930’s black individuals where extremely disrespected and utilized for servants in these days. Likewise they wouldn’t be described as ‘black individuals’ it would be far more racial as we can see from what they call Crooks “nigger”. When crooks addresses Slender he calls him “Mr slim” none of the other characters resolve him in this method, this reveals us that he has respect for Slim and that he thinks Slim is a guy of significance rather like the boss.

Slim is portrayed to be “almighty” we get the impression that Slim is looked up to by the other men, they respect him and when they need answers or advice it is usually Slim to whom they turn to. As when Curley and Lennie fight it is Slim who everyone turns to. George asks him “Slim will we get canned now?” This shows he has power and the men believe he can take authority in situations like this. Steinbeck makes the characters dialogue very brief and it lacks detail they say what is necessary without detail, whereas when Steinbeck is describing a character or a place he uses descriptive language and Standard English, also he uses American dialect for certain words.

Throughout the book there is few long sentences he uses short sentences. The way he describes places and characters is very different to the dialogue, he uses imagery in both but in different ways in dialogue he uses the shortening of words and there simple ways to help us imagine, whereas in his exposition he describes things in much detail and uses colours effectively. Also for certain words he uses an American dialect to replace them.

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How does John Steinbeck use language in different ways in "Of mice and men?". (2017, Oct 28). Retrieved from

How does John Steinbeck use language in different ways in "Of mice and men?"

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