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Effective Use Of Imagery And Symbolism In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

740 words - 3 pages

In many great books, famous authors use literary elements to enlighten each individual on various levels of understanding. These devices are incorporated into the journey of two companions working their way to a dream. John Steinbeck, in his novel Of Mice and Men, conveys the devices of imagery and symbolism to complement his words to depict a higher meaning.
Throughout the book, Steinbeck uses descriptive words to allow the reader to envision a vivid picture in their minds. For astonishing imagery in a book, an author uses all five senses to portray an image so real that one feels that they may be standing right there. Steinbeck guides the reader through the barn as he says, “The resting horses nibbled the remaining wisps of hay, and they stamped their feet and they bit the wood of the mangers and rattled the halter chains” (92). This barn description allows the reader to hear the sound of horses’ stomping feet, to smell the musty combination of wood, metal, and hay, to taste the old barn in the air, to see the restless horses and feel the rusty chains, coarse hay and horses’ manes. With all the senses being satisfied in the midst of the gifts of words, the reader may also feel the mood expressed throughout the story; the use of imagery in sources of literature is the main way mood reflected to the reader. To describe the mood of the riverside, Steinbeck says, “The deep green pool of Salinas River was still in the late afternoon. Already the sun had left the valley to go climbing up the slopes of the Gabilan mountains and the hilltops were rosy in the sun” (109). There is a mood of serenity throughout this quote. Steinbeck wants the audience to feel the calm mood of the surroundings before fate takes an undecided turn. With his use of mood and the five senses, Steinbeck brings a completely new meaning to the use of imagery. In the same way the author does this, he adds another meaning to symbolism.
Steinbeck uses his insightful sense of symbolism to bring forth a deeper meaning than the words actually have. Many ideas in books are not written simply in text. The use of symbols...

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