Style of language

In John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, language is used to create atmosphere and authenticity, and to offer information about the characters. 

The narration is often highly descriptive. Steinbeck uses a lot of adjectives in order to convey an impression of the setting: 

On one side of the river, the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees – willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool. (p. 8)

Here, the novel opens with a detailed and precise description of the landscape, creating an atmosphere of calm beauty. Steinbeck also treats the less beautiful settings with similar precision: “The bunk-house was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls were white-washed a...

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