Slides in this set
Section 1 : Nature 1
· The book opens with the suggestion that the peaceful
world of nature is disturbed by man.
· The effect becomes more pronounced during this section
as the "sound of footsteps" grows louder and the animals
flee to safety.
· This movement from harmony to discord appears in
most of the natural settings in the book
· The green pool is portrayed as an idyllic and beautiful
place which is innocent and peaceful, rather like the
Garden of Eden.…read more
Section 1 : Nature 2
· Steinbeck suggest a great deal about Lennie by describing his movements.
The unthinking way in which Lennie drinks from the "green" pool reinforces
the impression of a markedly animal temperament.
· Like an animal, Lennie always tries to satisfy his immediate needs and
seems unable to see the possible consequences.
· Some aspects of Lennie's behaviour contribute to the humour in the novel.
Here, for example, the way he dips "his whole head under, hat and all"
reinforces our impression of Lennie as being more like an animal than a
· "The flame of the sunset lifted from the mountaintops and dusk came
into the valley"
· George appreciates the stillness and harmony of the pastoral scene around
· This moment of calm interrupts the interplay of the two characters and re-
establishes a sense of harmony. It also introduces a gentler tone.
· Notice how Steinbeck uses the natural surroundings to mirror the
mood of the action.…read more
· "Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in
· George and Lennie are initerant (wandering) workers.
· They are drifters who move from ranch to ranch.
· They dress in the traditional manner of cowboys from whom they
descend, and are skilled in the various aspects of farm work.
· George and Lennie find themselves a "few miles south of Soledad".
This is a real place in California and its name - which is Spanish -
can mean loneliness or a lonely place.
· George and Lennie 'suit' each other because of their
· Both men are dressed the same way, but in temperament they are
· George - "every part of him defined" - gives an
immediate impression of intelligence.
· He is reminiscent of a quick-witted animal with his
· George leads the duo and we can see that he is clearly
the one who is in charge.
· Both men have endured much physical hardship.
· George washes in the pool in traditional cowboy style.
· Unlike Lennie, he is a cautious person.
· George is quick, precise, apprehensive and cautious.…read more
· Lennie is described as a "bear"
· This animal context establishes at once the essential nature of the
man - the combination of brute strength and animal-like
· The bear is a particularly appropriate image for Lennie, because it
shares not only his harmless appearance (as of a teddy bear), but
also his dangerous tendency to hold onto things in his bear-hug.
· One of Lennie's most dangerous failings is his inability to learn
from past experience.
· George's admonishment establishes his role as Lennie's mentor,
with the responsibility of protecting Lennie from himself.
· Lennie is slow, clumsy and 'easy-going'.
· Notice that it is Lennie who always seems to suffer because of his
reckless and impetuous behaviour.…read more