How Does Steinbeck Present Nature in the Opening Extract of of Mice and Men? Essay

787 WordsSep 15, 20134 Pages
In the opening extract of ‘Of Mice And Men’ Steinbeck uses many linguistic techniques to present nature as positive: as if it was better untouched and without humans. “The golden foothill slopes curve” This is an example of how in the first paragraph Steinbeck uses adjectives to portray how beautiful nature is. The word “golden” could symbolise the clarity and beauty of the colour of the hills and how the colour (like gold) stays unchanged no matter how old or weathered it becomes. It could also show that nature is desired, like we desire gold and golden objects, and should be treasured because it is a rarity and because is it so pure (like how gold is pure because it is almost un-reactive). Besides using adjectives to portray the way nature looks, Steinbeck also uses them in metaphors to present it as alive and moving: “to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains” Even though he uses two rather forceful words to describe the Mountains, neither of the words are negative or too harsh. Instead of saying ‘jagged and rocky’ or ‘sturdy and rocky’ he chose the word “strong”, a word that usually illustrates a person – thus redirects us to the direction of living. He also says, “The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands”. In this quote there is not only a metaphor, but also another of Steinbeck’s techniques – contrast. “Slipped” is a clumsy action; however “twinkling” is glamorous and graceful. Together these words create a fluid motion, like a fox slipping through a gap, escaping. He could be implying that the water is trying to run away from something. Another technique Steinbeck uses is imagery, he uses this alongside description so we picture not only the look but the temperament of the setting: “and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool.” Steinbeck describing the trees with “limbs” rather
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