Comparing the Beginning of the Novel and the Film Of Mice and Men
Like any writer or director, John Steinbeck and Gary Sinise set out to
grab the audience's attention. Although the novel and the film are
based on the same story, John Steinbeck and Gary Sinise immediately
involve the audience in different ways.
When writing "Of Mice and Men" John Steinbeck draws the reader in by
mainly describing the setting. In the first two pages a very
descriptive and lyrical style of language has been used to give a
calm, peaceful atmosphere and to give a strong visual effect of the
Willow Pool. John Steinbeck chooses to start at the Willow Pool
because this is a very important setting, as the story begins and ends
there even though the violent end chapter is in contrast to the calm
and peaceful atmosphere of the first. The reader is able to imagine
the atmosphere and feeling through the use of descriptive language and
therefore immediately the author has captured the reader's interest.
Also by using present tense John Steinbeck suggests a real
geographical location "the Salinas river drops close to the hill-side"
and also presents nature's permanence in contrast human frailty and
vulnerability, which is one of the novel's themes.
John Steinbeck raises hopeful expectations in the beginning of the
novel by suggesting that it is spring "â€¦green with every spring."
Spring is the first season therefore this shows the beginning of a
cycle. The cycle will be of a new beginning and of hope because when
George tells Lennie (and the reader) about the dream "We'll have a big
vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch" This adds realism and people's
expectations are raised, feelings of hope are dominant, but with an
under - current of fear that the dream will never be raised.
He also uses the beginning to introduce the two main characters,
George and Lennie This is mainly done to show their relationship and
how Lennie is like a child "Look George, look what I done" and how
George is the more dominant of the two - "For God's sake don't drink
so much." There are many more examples of how the reader can relate to
each character by the hints given by John Steinbeck. Expectations are
again raised here about forthcoming events, in the plot for example
when Lennie gets them into trouble "An you ain't gonna do no bad
things like you done in Weed." This makes the reader wonder what will
happen in Weed and whether it will happen again further on in the
The director Gary Sinise's aim is to grab the audience's attention as
does John Steinbeck but the beginning is very different. He uses a
dramatic opening during the credits where George is sitting on a train
thinking back to past events. Flashes of light streak past his face
given the appearance of prison bars. This is ironic as this is how