Of Mice and Men- Chapter 6 analysis

Short overview/analysis of Chapter 6- Of Mice and Men.

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Steinbeck creates a tense, dramatic yet peaceful atmosphere in chapter six of the
novel. This apprehensive and intense mood is shown through the actions and words of
the characters and the language that Steinbeck has used. The chapter begins
as Lennie waits and hides in the bushes near the Salinas River, as George told him to
do in chapter one. He nervously talks to himself, showing his worry that George won't
let him tend the rabbits because of the `bad things' he did at the ranch.
Throughout chapter six, Steinbeck creates a contrast between the feelings and
emotions of George and Lennie. George's movements are described as shaky and
hesitant, which is shown in the way `his hand shook' then `drops to the ground'. This
reveals that George is feeling nervous, and cannot bring himself to kill his friend.
Whereas Lennie gives cries of triumph, which indicates that he's unaware of the
situation that he's in and what's going to happen. This is also shown when Lennie
`cries happily' whereas George is `quiet for a moment'. George's one word answers
differ from Lennie's attempts to get his friend to speak to him. This is shown when
Lennie is excitably talking about the rabbits and their dream to live on the farm, and
George's answer "yes", to Lennie's question. George's rant is unconvincing and
scripted, he doesn't want to scold Lennie, and this comes naturally to him due to the
amount of times he's told him, therefore he doesn't put any thought or feeling into it.
George is uncommonly quiet and lethargic. He does not berate or criticize Lennie, even
when Lennie himself insists on it: "aint you gonna give me no more hell?" Lennie
makes his usual offer to go away and live in a cave, and George tells him to stay,
making Lennie feel comforted and hopeful. Steinbeck describes George to be
"businesslike for a moment", suggesting that he's deep in thought about the
situation, and without emotion. The way that Steinbeck presents Lennie as being
childlike forces the reader to feel uncomfortable and sympathise for Lennie due to him
being unaware
There is the sense of affection when George speaks to Lennie as this is their last
conversation. He wants Lennie to die happy, instead of at the hands of Curley. The
warmth and kindness from George allows Lennie to believe that their American dream
will come true. He felt that it would be much more peaceful if he did it and Lennie
didn't know it was coming. This serene atmosphere that George has created
Steinbeck's use of repetition in chapter six is used to create a tense and dramatic
atmosphere. This is portrayed through the men's intentions on finding George and to
kill Lennie whilst they are in the brush. The men are said to be getting closer and
closer throughout the chapter which builds more and more tension each time. This is
demonstrated when Steinbeck writes `the shouts of men sounded again', `(George
was) listening to the distant sounds' and `the voices came close now'. Each time

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George hears the men, it is a reminder that he must kill Lennie now before the other
men do, as he will do it kindly and peacefully, whereas the other men would be cruel.
George's soft tones when speaking to Lennie conflicts with the shouts of the men
which supports this.…read more


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