How Does Steinbeck Create The Bunkhouse In Order To Represent The Lives Of The Workers?

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How does Steinbeck create the bunkhouse in order to represent the lives of the workers? The bunkhouse is described as a “rectangular building” which gives the impression of it being long and thin in shape, almost like a corridor, representing the men’s narrow pathways in life and the restrictions they face. On three of the four walls there are “small, square windows”, the light that comes through the windows is key throughout the book as it is an indication on the time during the day, “a bright dust laden bar… the side window”. The beam of light also represents the glimmer of hope in the men’s lives. This is then linked to the “whitewashed” walls, as white although could be thought as, as bland and depressive, it also reflects light. Therefore the walls reflecting the light gives the impression of light that isn’t really there, false light, representing the hope being false hope, unachievable, only a dream. In and out of the light beam there is described to be flies like “rushing stars”, like they are following the light, representing the men following the little glimmer of hope, following the dream. Also the way they are described to be like stars, could represent more hope, like wishing on a star, then also wishing on a star is said to be a myth, nothing will come of it, linking to the dream, their hope could only be a myth. In the bunk house there is 8 bunks, Steinbeck chose to have bunks as it represents the way that although the men are together in the way that they are sharing a bed with someone, however because it is on top or below you are still actually alone. This is then a link with their outside lives in the way that the men are all working together on the ranch but actually alone, each man for themselves. For each man to store their belongings they have one shelf, and everything on these shelves is similar, “soap, talcum powder, combs”,

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