Comparing Chapters 1 and 6 in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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 there are significant
differences in the two chapters.
Steinbeck uses the last chapter to end the book, he uses a particular
setting the pool near the Salinas River this is a coincidence because
this is where he started it.
George and Lennie upset the natural scene at the pool near the Salinas
River as they arrive just like they upset the scene at the ranch. Once
George and Lennie arrive at the ranch we begin to establish and
understand the characters and their relationships. George and Lennie
have a father like son relationship because George is the one who has
to sort out the mess Lennie has gotten himself into and always explain
to him what they are doing and where,...