Section 6: Of Mice and Men
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Steinbeck's careful control of setting in the novel is especially clear in this chapter, which finds us back at the beginning - at the brush near the Salinas River. As he did in the opening chapter, Steinbeck begins with a description of nature. Once again, this nature vignette resonates with the themes of the novel. We see the casual violence of nature - the stork devouring the water snake - and we see Lennie's nonchalant integration into this atmosphere as he stoops and drinks with his lips like a thirsty dog.