Chapter 1: The Brush by the Salinas River
Possible exam question: Comment on the significance of the opening chapter and the extent to which it prepares us for the rest of the novel.
• Near Soledad – means loneliness in Spanish – foreshadows key theme in novel
• Vivid colours - peaceful, heavenly, idyllic setting –like Garden of Eden - snake
• Pathetic fallacy used to create a positive, harmonious mood
• ‘a path beaten hard by boys’ implies violence, predatory nature of man • Sense of invasion when people arrive
• Rabbits at peace with nature
• Ominous - something bad might happen
How are George and Lennie described?
• George is ‘small and quick…’we are given the impression that he is almost mouse-like –link to ‘mice’ in title
• Lennie ‘snorted into the water like a horse…’animal imagery –implies carelessness –ominous – he is simple -it will be the reason they get into trouble later in novel
• “Lennie dabbled his big paw” – animal imagery - referred to as a bear, suggests his size, his movements, unrefined, simplicity of thoughts, clumsy, adorable yet aggressive, foreshadowing later danger – also like the bear hunting for fish. (see similes of Curley & wife)
• The characters contrast through size: “Behind him walked his opposite”; mouse and bear…