How Does Steinbeck Present The Theme Of Conflict In The Setting And Characters?

1469 words - 6 pages

The theme of conflict looms over the entire plot in Of Mice and Men, beginning in the first scene, and persisting until the end. The conflict ranges from the captivating way Steinbeck makes man fight with his inner animalistic behaviour to the ever imminent conflict between George and Lennie with their drastically different personalities, appearances and understanding of their ideal, the American Dream. The Great Depression forms the backbone of Steinbeck’s novella, with events such as the stock market crash to the recovery from the First World War, allowing him to keep the realism of the conflicting events but still leave room for the intriguing, deeper side to each of the characters. Steinbeck manages to mask conflict within the novella by not simply stating the conflict, but using language and literary techniques he subtly implies it.

The beginning of part one gives the reader the sense of a perfect backdrop, however conflict is present throughout. An example of this hidden conflict is the pool of water that without much of a description at the start gives you an image of a turquoise pool running with fresh water but just as George and Lennie emerge, the reader is told "by the green pool" showing that the pool is stagnant and foul. Part one opens with the ‘idyllic’ setting of Soledad with sibilance throughout the first sentence “south of Soledad, the Salinas River” creating the initial silence and tranquillity; assonance builds towards the relaxed, drowsy feel of the setting with “deep and green” and “recumbent limbs”. A single sentence consisting of 7 lines runs through the first paragraph, giving you a sense of the perfect moment in time and the entire thing captured in a snapshot lasting for eternity. As you progress through the first paragraph the scene starts panning out into a panorama. Innocence is then portrayed through the wildlife with “Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand” and “deer that come to drink in the evening” creating a simple yet effective visual imagery in the reader’s mind alongside the foreshadowing of Lennie’s love of rabbits. The second paragraph begins with another long sentence creating a ‘savour the moment’ scene; the sentence also foreshadows the cyclic routine of repeated history with “a path beaten hard by boys...and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down”. It is now apparent that the deeper you venture the less natural the setting becomes and the less of a utopia it becomes as “there is an ash pile made by many fires” suggests the death of something and that everything eventually will die. As George and Lennie emerge it is as if chaos emits with "The rabbits hurriedly noiselessly for cover. A stilted heron laboured up into the air and pounded down river." hinting towards their past. George and Lennie have previously committed a crime which is evident from the scene where they first emerge "They had walked in single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other" which...

Find Another Essay On How does Steinbeck present the theme of conflict in the setting and characters?

The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 - How does the author use theme, setting and character to instil in the reader a desire to read on?

1462 words - 6 pages The Great Gatsby - Chapter 1"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg, on Long Island in the United States. In the opening chapter the author introduces theme, setting and character and this gives the reader the desire to read on.The story is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, who moved to East Egg, which compared to West Egg is "the less fashionable of

Book report on The Time Machine espressing the theme, conflict, setting, and personal opinion.

1894 words - 8 pages In this book report I will discuss the novel "The Time Machine" written by H.G. Wells. The first aspect of this book that I will discuss is its theme. A prevalent theme in this story is the way mankind uses and depends on technology to make life better for us, but in fact we might end up getting the opposite effect. When the time traveler reaches the world of 802,701, he encounters the small, childlike creatures called Eloi. The time traveler is

The three central protagonists in Enduring Love could be said to represent science, art and religion. In the light of this statement, how far does this count for the conflict between the characters?

1762 words - 7 pages vision mind, which is often self-constructed, can be destructive, yet we are all culpable of this psychological crime.The conflict between science and religion (Jed and Joe) is also a big theme in the novel.'A rationalist scientific mind is set up in opposition between the values of the heart and the domestic scene' (Noakes) What is interesting about the two characters representing science and religion, is that we often doubt the reliability of

Thorough Analysis of Jude the Obscure- 4 characters, 4 quotes, conflict, setting

917 words - 4 pages Summary:Jude Fawley has always dreamed of attending the university of Christminster, however his humble upbringing did not allow him to do so right away. He is tricked into marrying a local girl named Arabella and when the marriage does not work out she moves to Australia. He meets his cousin, Sue, and tries not to fall in love with her but to no avail he does. They find out that he has a son by Arabella, and the son comes to live with Sue, Jude

Honour and justice are two very important issues in the play "A View From the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, how does the author present these issues through the characters and action in the play?

893 words - 4 pages ignorance towards the American law and his sentiments of honour vanquish any fear about breaking the promise he makes to Alfieri. In fact, Marco had given Alfieri his word that he would not harm Eddie, but does so clearly, showing once again that honour is more important than breaking the law. Here, the theme of justice rises once more: Marco finds it wrongful that Eddie can escape punishment and he cannot, making his urge for avenge even

Thorough Analysis of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey.. 4 Important Characters, Quotes, Conflict & Setting

984 words - 4 pages how much influence he has over the other patients, and that he in fact is their savior.Setting:Mental Institution, Oregon, 1950sConflict:The very masculine and oppressive Nurse Ratchet tries to deprive the patients of their humanity. She slowly whittles away at them, reducing them into cowering people who she rules over. McMurphy rallies the patients against her by making them all flaunt their personalities and sexuality in front of Nurse Ratchet

How setting clarifies the theme in "Macbeth"

557 words - 2 pages In the play The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the setting clarifies the various themes and characters of the play. Darkness, deceiving appearances, and the supernatural are aspects of setting that influence the characters actions and lives. The play shows that an environment is a crucial aspect of one's life. Depending on where they live, one's surroundings affect their reactions and decisions.The play initiates it's setting on a

How does John Steinbeck set the scene in the first chapter of "Of Mice and Men"?

658 words - 3 pages name to represent the discrimination they suffered. Also people like Candy who are disabled are always forced into decisions and are treated unfairly. Although the fact that the whole story behind it is of the downfall of Adam and Eve it wouldn’t count as a theme but is fully represented in the story with people like George and Lennie replacing Adam and Eve.In conclusion, the combination of characters, the setting and the themes all are used to lead to the downfall representing the downfall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.Bibliographysparknotes.comOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

How does the setting influence the devellopment of the storyline in Shakespeares 'Romeo and Juliet'?

987 words - 4 pages In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, we see the progression of the storyline through a number of different components of the setting. The events that took place, the place the text is set and how quickly time moves contribute to a great extent to the development of the plot and inform the audience and determine the direction in which the story will be headed, the problems that may occur and the possible outcomes of these problems. Also

How does Charles Dickens create character and setting in the chapter 1 & 8 of Great Expectations.

1001 words - 4 pages How does Charles Dickens create character and setting in the chapter 1 & 8 of Great Expectations. Charles Dickens was born into good fortune on the February 7th 1812. At the age of 9 he went to school, but this was shortly ended as his family were sent to work for becoming into bad debt. Charles Dickens wrote many novels and in 1860 at the age of 48 he started his 13th novel ‘Great Expectations’ from then on he became a very popular novelist

How Steinbeck Uses Two of His Characters to Explore the Role of Power in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1172 words - 5 pages How Steinbeck Uses Two of His Characters to Explore the Role of Power in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck The two characters that I have chosen to examine for exploring the role of power in the novel are Slim and Curley. Slim is a highly skilled mule driver and the acknowledged “prince” of the ranch. Slim is both respected and admired by all of the men he works with. In the book it says that “Slim’s opinion in law” and

Similar Essays

How Does Steinbeck Present The Culture Of The Migrant Workers In The Novel "Of Mice And Men"?

1429 words - 6 pages truth was that all those ideas and thoughts would never come true for the individual characters. As the title of the book suggested, how ever hard you try, things would never seem to end right.The use of language in the novel varies greatly, the description of settings and scenery really adds an extra element to the book. Steinbeck uses personification and adjectives for imagery."Yellow sand in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool

Romeo And Juliet. How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of Love?

5299 words - 21 pages Untitled Love, the simplest and most complicated thing in world. What is love? Why do we love? Is who we love written in destiny? All these questions and more pop up when we think of the world of love. `Romeo and Juliet' reveals many things we did not know in ourselves and make us think about love. There are many ways the theme of love is displayed in this play. The scenes I will be focusing on are Act1 Scene5 and Act2 Scene2

How Does The Setting Contribute To The Theme Of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

627 words - 3 pages that makes the world more pleasant by "singing their hearts out" (94) and making music for us to enjoy. Harper Lee uses the term, mockingbird, to reveal the "sin" (94) of prejudice and problem of racism in the South.The setting acts as a superb backdrop to the deeply rooted prejudice where the theme is revealed. United States proudly professed democracy but sadly practiced the antithesis of democracy. Under the years of the Great Depression in the South, it is the varying forms of discrimination that results the prejudicial attitude people have towards others.

How Does Steinbeck Present Curley’s Wife

1728 words - 7 pages but they only see it as a danger which could get them fired. She only does it because she is lonely; she is shown to be a victim of male prejudice and experiences an even more acute loneliness than that of the men. Steinbeck constructs an image in the reader’s minds about Curley’s wife before we meet her. He forewarns the reader when Candy warns George about Curley’s wife who is a subject of the men’s gossip. He describes her as a “well, I think