PAGE PAGE 1 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Setting the scene - the clearing by the riverLanguage, Structure and Form: SettingTo identify, explore and analyse the techniques Steinbeck uses in the novella's opening paragraph in his description of the setting - the clearing by the river.Task The Salinas River today( Read the following list of words and then read the extract from the novella's opening paragraph. Working in pairs, copy the adjectives into the extract.
A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in ________ to the hillside bank and runs ________ and ________. The water is ________ too, for it has slipped ________ over the _______ sands before reaching the ________ pool. On one side of the river the ________ foothill slopes curve up to the ________ and ________ Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is ________ with trees - willows ________ and ________ with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter's flooding; and sycamores with ________, ________, ________ limbs and branches that arch over the pool. On the ________ bank under the trees the leaves lie ________ and so ________ that a lizard makes a ________ skittering if he runs among them. Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the ________, and the ________ flats are covered with the ________ tracks of 'coons, and with the ________ ________ of dogs from the ranches, and with the ________-________ tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.
Ranch life and migrant workers
( The bunk house is an important setting in the novella; a number of important and dramatic events take place there.
Steinbeck's description of the bunk house gives us many clues about ranch life and the wider issues affecting the lives of the migrant farm workers.
1930s Depression Era migrant farm workers, one carrying his 'bindle' and the other a guitar, find a moment together away from their rootless and often lonely existence on the road.
Setting the scene - the bunk house
Language, Structure and Form: Setting
To identify, explore and analyse the techniques Steinbeck uses in his description of the setting - the bunk house.
( Read the opening paragraph of chapter two. In it, George and Lennie have arrived at the ranch and go to the bunk house.
( Using the details in the description, draw a plan of the layout in the bunk house - a bird's eye view, like a set design. Label your drawing with relevant quotes from the text.
( Life for migrant farm workers was not easy. Some of the problems they faced were linked not just to the difficult work but also to ranch lifestyle.
The bunk house
The description of the 'decoration' in the bunk house highlights the fact that the room is plain and practical.