Symbols Of Mice and Men

Signs Of Mice and Male


1. Light-Steinbeck consistently informs us the state of light before beginning a scene. The light represents freedom and dark is constriction.

“both guys glanced up, for the rectangular shape of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was standing there looking in”

John Steinbeck, Symbols Of Mice and Men

She is symbolically caught in a rectangular shape of light, comparable to how George and Lennie were trapped in the shrinking sphere of light developed by the fire previously.

2. Rabbits- Lennie’s fixation with rabbits shows his innocence and how much like a kid he is.

3. The farm- George and Lennie’s American dream.

4. George’s language- moulded by society.

5. Jackson fork- the fork hanging above Lennie after he killed Curley’s spouse, perhaps seen as the sword of Damocles, hanging by its thread and suggesting impending doom.

6. The sun slicing through the cracks of the barn- bars of a jail.

7. Chains– two most reoccurring symbols for captivity-darkness and chains. George is caught after Lennie kills her and there is only one way out of the circumstance.

8. Horses

“the barn was alive now. The horses marked and snorted, and they chewed the straw of their bedding and they clashed the chains of their halters”

John Steinbeck, Symbols Of Mice and Men

the mood of the horses mirrors the occasions of the story-they remained silent almost out of respect as she died, now are frantic regarding show the inescapable turmoil about to occur.

9. Snake killed by bird- death is an unconcerned force that strikes without alerting and without mercy. Can live so thoroughly and still die.

10. Hands- throughout the novel guys are specified by what they do with their hands. Sweet’s missing hand symbolises his impotence he is in total.

11. Sweet’s dog-poorly society, human presence. The strong always triumphed.

“God he was a good sheep dog when he was more youthful”

John Steinbeck, Symbols Of Mice and Men

canine owners start to look like their dog. Implies that whilst the pet used to be competent, so was candy.

12. Bunk home- simplified lifestyle, lack of uniqueness.

13. Solitaire-shows solitude.

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