Of Mice and Man Essay

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Of Mice and Men Study Guide Chapter One 1. Reread the first paragraph of the novel. How does the passage function? What purpose does Steinbeck fulfill by beginning the novel in this way? The novel begins with a rich description of the setting. Steinbeck uses descriptive language to indicate that the area is a place of rest. The specific colors, foliage, and animals that are mentioned create a respite, even for those boys and men from the ranches who beat a path to the water. For example, Steinbeck uses the following images to suggest that this place is a place of comfort and that the Salinas River is a sanctuary. Examples: • “The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool” (p.1). • “On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them”(p. 1). • “There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water” (p. 1-2.) 2. Explain the rhetorical strategies used in the following line: “There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water.” (pp. 1-2) One rhetorical strategy is the repetition of the image of “the path.” If the Salinas River is established as a place of solace, the path might indicate that the men are coming from a place that is the opposite—a place that is dreary and desolate. The path is the bridge between the two worlds. The second rhetorical strategy is the use of the idiom “jungle-up.” Of Mice

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