Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men - The Importance of Settings 11th Grade

The first two settings that Steinbeck exposes to his readers in Of Mice and Men are the countryside and the bunkhouse at the ranch. Both of these are quite crucial to the development of the characters, as well as the progress and proper story-telling in the novel. Steinbeck starts his novella in the countryside, which is described as a very peaceful and calm place, with a few leaves rustling in the air; before the quiet is broken by the two main characters. As the protagonists George and Lennie make their way from the path to the clearing by the river bank, the purpose of the setting becomes evident to the reader. Later, however, the presence of the bunkhouse strategically shifts the entire narrative to a very different set of themes.

The clearing is a place full of life; there is an abundance of green plants, and the presence of animals and insects is also felt. The warm and clean water provides George and Lennie with the soothing bounty of nature; just as the riverbank, with its overshadowing branches and calm atmosphere, provides the two with relief and protection from the relentless sun they endured throughout their long walk. Just as the riverbank gives them literal protection in their journey, it also gives them a...

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