Thursday, August 15, 2019

Of mice and men presentation †Chapter one Essay

At the start of chapter one the setting is tranquil, there are many animals to show that the humans will not be welcome when they arrive. The animals seem to own the valley. (OHP EXAMPLES OF ANIMALS) * Because the lizard is small it would need to be very quiet and peaceful for it to make a ‘Skittering’ sound. ** The rabbits are obviously very confident with the surroundings, which shows that humans do not go there often. The rabbits are a recurring theme in ‘Of mice and men’ *** Deer are generally very timid animals around humans so, again, like the rabbits it proves the absence of human life and it’s effects on the wildlife. Steinbeck also uses a lot of natural colours that make the setting calm and harmonious. There are ‘Deep greens’ of the trees, ‘Golden foothill slopes’ and ‘Yellow sands’. These colours do not clash with each other and help contribute to the almost utopian environment. Because of a complete lack of human life, the area not only seems safer but also calmer. The trees have been personified to replace the humans. The sycamores were said to have ‘White, recumbent limbs’ When Steinbeck says that ‘Men who have sat on it’ have worn the limb of the sycamore he shows that people can destroy nature and the beauty of the setting. Another example of this is when he talks of ‘A path beaten hard by boys’ This is just before George and Lennie enter the scene so could indicate that they are not entirely wanted. (SEE OHP FOR PICTURES) **** These pictures show the impact of humans In the paragraph when the men enter the novel the scene starts to have a darker atmosphere. The shade ‘Climbs’ up the hills. This is not only an example of the personification of the shadow, but it also dims the previously bright setting. This could be because George and Lennie are arriving. Darkness shows evil and although I wouldn’t call George or Lennie evil the animals do not want them there. The way the two men enter seems to be very significant. George walks before Lennie even though there is enough room for them top walk side by side. This shows George’s protectiveness and leadership over Lennie. It also shows Lennie is mentally younger and more simplistic because he is always copying like a child is. (SEE OHP GEORGE AND LENNIE WALKING) Lennie’s simplicity is also graphically portrayed when he is likened to different animals. For example when Steinbeck says: ‘His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drunk from the surface of the green pool, he drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse.’ This simile shows that Lennie is not only as strong as a horse but also has manners like one. He is later referred to as bear-like in his actions and features. It is described that he is ‘Dragging his paws’ Obviously, being a human, he has hands not paws but because they are so large and because of what he is doing with them they are called paws. There is a sequence in the first chapter where Lennie imitates George’s exact movements-this show that Lennie needs to copy because he can’t think for himself and he is not confident. (ANDREW COPYS DAN AS LENNIE DOES GEORGE) As you can see I was playing the role of George, the intelligent character and Andrew the slow, simple character. Yet another example of George being the more confident character is when he starts to get angry and begins to shout, complaining about the bus driver. Whilst George is doing this Lennie is very quiet and acts timidly. It is, however easy for the reader to be sympathetic towards George and understand his anger. Because Lennie isn’t very clever, George often has to repeat himself many times. At one point George has to ask Lennie three times to put down a dead mouse that he has got. When they want to eat, Lennie wants to go to the ranch that they are headed towards but George realises that they will have to do more work if they go straight away so he says no. Lennie cannot understand this. This shows that Lennie just wants immediate satisfaction whereas George can look at what will happen in the future. It is also possible to see a kind, caring side through George’s anger and frustration. He often says ‘Aw Lennie’ when his friend gets upset about something and comforts him. The first chapter gives an in-depth impression of what the two main characters’ personalities are like and how they have similarities and differences.

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