Of Mice and Men - Style

decribe the tone, tone and language of the novel, which helps to achieve higher grades.

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  • Created by: caty
  • Created on: 23-04-12 16:28

Tone and Language

Steinbeck relies on diologue and poetic description.

- Steinbeck lets his characters speak.

- Uses accurate colloquil American Slang.

- Use of double negative, "I won't get in no trouble".

- Slang, use of 'ya' rather than 'you'.

- Swearing adds to the realism of the novel.

- His descriptions vividly add to the atmosphere.

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Individual's Language


  • limited vocabulary.
  • Can usually only talk about himself, as he is not clever.


  • Usually authoritating- in order to control Lennie.
  • However, is capable of creating lyrical, poetic paintings of 'the dream'.

Curley's Wife

  • Her voice has a nasal, brittle quality.


  • Has a natural authority, although he still uses just as much slang as the other men.
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Structure of the Novel

- Like a play, each chapter has one scene, which is introduced at the start.

- The plot is simple and foreshadowing gives us an idea of the future.

- It is clear from the sense of foreboding, there will be no happy ending.

- It is structured in chronological order.

- Hope is never raised for long.

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Characters and their comparisons

- The characters are introduced very quickly.

- The characters are distinguished by their descriptions.

- George and Lennie are friends, but opposites.

- Candy and Crooks are both old and crippled, with no status on the ranch. 

    - Although, one is white and one is black.

- Curley and his wife are a married couple, yet spend no time together.

- George is a dreamer, whilst Crooks is a realist.

- Curley is aggressive and mean, Slim is calm with a natural authority.

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Comparisons with Candy's Dog

Curley's wife and Candy's dog

  • Neither has a name.
  • They are both defined by their relationship to others

Lennie and Candy's dog

  • Both die.
  • They are both a companion/partner to someone.
  • Candy is sad he didn't shoot his dog himself, and he expresses this to George, who later kills his own companion.

Candy and his dog

  • Both old and weak
  • When Candy cannot enjoy life any more, he says his wishes to be shot, like his dog.

Candy's dog is symbolic of how the harsh society of the 1930's treated the weaker members

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Steinbeck's use of Foreshadowing and Symbolism

- Steinbeck ties ideas together for the reader using repetition. (for example, Lennie kills a mouse, then a dog, then a woman)

- Red, this symbolises danger. Curley's wife wore red, and so did the girl in weed, this also hints at how the same situation may occur again.

- Nature is at the start and the end of the novel, showing how George and Lennie have come in full circle, in trouble again.

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Thank you very much, prepared me for my exam :D

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