Of Mice And Men

By , Pleasant Plain, OH
In Of MICE AND MEN Steinbeck uses several literary terms and lot’s of confusing language. The biggest point of the book is the saying: “the best laid schemes of mice and men go askew often” -Robert Burns, because that’s what the whole book is about and titled. Saying that plans don’t always go the way they’re planned and steinbeck proves that to us through the book with conflicts, great plot, mood and plenty of irony. Plot includes foreshadowing, hint’s and clues leading to future parts of the story; Inciting force, a character or circumstance that makes conflict; the crisis and conflict, when the highest point and most emotional part of the story come intense and have the biggest interest from the reader.

Some of Steinbeck’s foreshadowing is in the scene where Lennie has Curly’s wife’s hair in his hand and he’s feeling it, you foresee from former knowledge that this is going to result badly as the first time lennie felt a woman's dress, he wouldn’t let go and she screamed and he got scared and didn’t let go. Just like what eventually happened in this scene so steinbeck made his readers foreshadow that the same thing would happen, then ominously made it worse by causing Lennie to kill her. This was the beginning to the crisis of the book, because it left the readers in an anguish feeling. The very next part of the story the climax is hit ending the book with a scene at the pond in soledad california. George sits Down next to Lennie with his lugar and talks Lennie into a happy daze about the dream they have planed. George says “Look acrost the river, Lennie, an’ I’ll tell you so you can almost see it”, making Lennie happy and content before George shoot’s him, George keeps telling Lennie “look down acrost the river, like you can almost see the place” and when Lennie says he want’s to move right now that’s when George shoot’s him causing us to feel the pain too. The juncture in which we are the most interested, the climax. As you can see in OF MICE AND MEN Lennie is a inciting force that Steinbeck uses. Steinbeck also adds other characters who are inciting forces for instance Curly’s wife, Curly himself, and Carlson a secondary character. Lennie causes conflict between George and himself because of his handicap. George wishes that he didn’t have to take care of Lennie all the time, because then he could have a real life and get himself a girl, and not keep loosing his job. But ties him down and because of this George makes Lennie feel anguish sometimes and makes Lennie want to go off and find a cave to hide in. These back and fourth actions occur throughout the whole book always creating a inciting force. Just the same as Curly, he starts a lot of the problems that go on in the ranch because he is very belligerent. One fight that got him in trouble too was when he was pugnacious to slim and Lennie started laughing but not about the fighting. Curly whirled around and said “What the hell you laughin’ at? and Lennie was clueless but Curly socked him and started beating him up. George hated to see Lennie like that so he told Lennie “get ‘um” and that’s just what he did braking Curly’s hand, Which caused him to know be a cripple. This hurting himself because of his anger.

The moods in this novel are incredible and draw you in. The mood of a book is the feeling that is created in the setting, or details throughout the writing that incorporate words and language that describe the way the thing or person is. The Mood set at the begging while Lennie and George are sitting close to the fires blaze is calm peaceful and fairly friendly. George and lennie are planning their dream and what they want out of life. George tells Lennie about the house and animals they’re going to get when they earn the money. How Lennie can tend the Rabbit’s and give them alfalfa from the field, and how George can hang out on the farm and blow off work. Mood can be just about one character too. For instance Curly’s wife’s mood is always flirty and tramp like. This making her be the inappropriate woman who you never know what she’s going to do so it keeps the readers on their heels hopping nothing bad will happen to cause Curly to get mad. The mood that’s under everything in the whole book is just how life is on way weather you like it or not. It helps readers learn to be realistic and realize that you have to work for your dreams and even so they could not work out. No matter how hard you try sometimes you can’t control the way things are.

The difference in what is predicted and what actually occurs is called Irony. There are three different kinds used in a literary novel. Verbal Irony, the difference between what people say and what they actually meant to say; Irony of Situation, the complete opposite to what you want to happen; and Dramatic Irony, when the reader is ahead of the characters in the knowledge department. This novel only uses two: Verbal Irony and Situation Irony, Steinbeck chose for his readers not to know any more than the characters did. An example of some of some of the Verbal Irony he used is when Lennie said at the very beginning that he wanted ketchup on his beans. He was just joking but George didn’t know that and he got mad at Lennie for insisting he wanted some. This happens even in our own conversations it makes book conversations and talking more realistic when it is added in. Situation Irony happens every time Lennie has a furry friend to pet after he kills it from petting it too much with his big strength he is bemused because he doesn’t know why it died if he was just petting it. He excepted that it would like the petting and that he was being careful. In Steinbeck’s story another example of Situation Irony is when Carlson asks to shoot Candy’s old dog and Candy doesn’t want him too. He feels subdued by Carlson though so he allows him to shoot the dog because Candy doesn’t want to do it himself for fear of feeling bad. But later he realizes that he feels worse for not doing it himself and wishes he could do it over again. That situation was supposed to end up with Candy happy because his dog was out of misery but instead it ended up the opposite way.

Novels always have a point of view that the story is told from. The four different kinds that you can have are: First Person, a character in the book tells the story from their eyes and tells the readers their personal feelings not any of others; Third-Person Objective, the person telling the story is not a main character and can tell us what is going on but not what peoples thoughts are; Third-Person Limited, The narrater is not really in the story but they can tell it with one of the characters thoughts; and Omniscient, The story is told from somebody not in the book that knows everything and can tell you what the characters are thinking and feeling. This novel is written in Omniscient were the narrater knows everything including the thoughts of all the people. We know this because places in the story we are told what a character is thinking inside their head and what they are speaking and doing. Plus this way we can see the point of view from everyone. There aren't very many thoughts at all so it’s hard to tell what point of view it’s written in, but the narrator is not in the story and everyone's voice can be heard and what everyone is doing is shown, therefor the book is written in Omniscient form. In the scene that Lennie, George, and Candy are in the bunk house and the narrator explains what everyone is doing. That Lennie is recumbent after unpacking his bindle, George is playing cards, and Candy is on his bed feeling morose. All the characters actions are shown in detail. Never does the novel tell one specific persons view on a problem or discussion it shows the whole conversation from every person. Like when Curly and Slim where fighting it didn’t just say what Curly was saying it also showed what all the other men were bickering about.

Characterization is partly what makes a novel so interesting. Seeing different kinds of people and how unlike they act. There are three types of characters in a book: Protagonists, the main characters; Antagonists, the person that goes against the main character; and the Foils, characters that are different and provide change between them and the protagonists. All these kinds of characters are in Steinbeck's book and many of each type as a matter of fact. The protagonists are Lennie and George because that is who the story is based upon and who it’s about. The antagonists are Curly, Curly’s wife, Slim and Candy, the reason is because they are mentioned quite often and are opposites of Lennie and George. The Foils are Carlson, Crooks and Curly’s boss, we can tell this because they have their own basic story but they are not mentioned very often and they are pulled into the story for contrast.

There are so many other Literary terms in Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN but I pulled what I felt were the most important kinds out and showed them to prove how much thought and effort is worked into the book. Not only does he retell a story gone wrong but incorporates new and interesting things into the work of art.





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