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How Does Steinbeck Use the Opening Setting to Engage the Reader?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By JAMMYDODGER
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Pages 7
How does Steinbeck use the opening setting to engage the reader?
‘Of Mice and Men’ was published in 1937 and was written by John Steinbeck. He drew some of his ideas from his work experiences (manual and unskilled) whilst supporting himself through college. His circular novella follows the lives of George Milton and Lennie Small who were two itinerant workers searching for jobs during the ‘Great American Depression’ of the 1930’s. Life was very hard during this time so people had to find work where they could, however low paid. It considers their relationship with both each other and the people they meet at the ranch. It is set over a time period of 4 days and has several different themes running through it. As the novella progresses the reader learns the significance of earlier events and gradually the novella moves towards the tragic ending.
The first two pages that Steinbeck has written, transports you to the place where you are first introduced to George and Lennie. It creates a clear image in your mind of the surrounding countryside and its beauty. The opening pages of all books and plays need to engage the reader almost immediately if the reader is to continue. So does this vivid description and the emergence of two unidentified men ensure your want to read further and understand why they are there? By looking more in depth at this opening to the novella we should see how Steinbeck succeeds in engaging the reader.
In the first line of the novella, the author writes that the place is set ‘A few miles south of Soledad’. This is an interesting and clever choice of location since ‘Soledad’ is Spanish for the word loneliness and this is one of the major themes running throughout the whole novella. However if the reader does not understand this translation in the first line of the book, a key point may be missed. It was written during the ‘Great American…...

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