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Steinbeck’s main purpose in the story which revolves around elaborating on the importance of friendships for the two men during their struggles to liberate themselves from the miseries that came with the Great Depression has been perfectly expressed with the help of imagery in the book. Figurative language or what is otherwise referred to as imagery has been effectively used in narrating the story forms the basis form which the main themes in the book have been concluded in the last chapter of the book. As a matter of fact, imagery has been effectively been used by Steinbeck to set the mood with which the sudden death of Lennie is presented to the reader. The progress of dusk with the onset of a dark ending has been repeatedly described to the reader thanks to imagery as a conspicuous style in the book. In this paper therefore the main idea revolves around an analysis of the use of imagery that Steinbeck has employed in developing the story’s theme which has been mainly done using two animals as is explained vividly in the remaining parts of the paper.
Rabbits have been used as a great source of imagery as a style in the book by Steinbeck. The great wealth of dreams that Lennie has and their respective impossibilities have been effectively represented using the rabbits in the story. All the hopes and the very simple thinking that he has can be evidently be read through the rabbits in the book. While his fiend George views the farm as being a source of freedom and happiness, Lennie on the other hand is taking the farm to mean having the gateway to the soft things in life. The two friends are in a continuous struggle to fight the tough times that they are facing in their lives courtesy of the Great Depression that is affecting their country. Though they are heavily struggling to fight the difficult times, failure has already been tipped to the reader as being imminent to them. Lennie is not able to open his eyes to the patterns that he has already had in his life and see hat failure in the end of all the struggles is a not something to be escaped. As is placed in the book Lennie says that with them, they have a future and even have a friend to talk to who really cares about them (Steinbeck 42).The rabbits in the story will be eventually be added to the trail of not only small but dead animals of Lennie which have been symbolically used to indicate that failure in the dreams of the young man is bound to come.
The other huge source of imagery in the book is the mice that have been strategically used in the book to represent the false hope that Lennie has for a safe space. The very first mouse that is read in the book is a dead one and it is still the one that Lennie puts in his pocket with the intention to petting it (Steinbeck 38). By Lennie keeping a dead mouse in his pocket for a pet means that Lennie does not really care about death but he only cares about comfort. It is no wander that he will be more comfortable if he died as a result of his friend’s gentle hand than from a violent hand of an enemy (Steinbeck 91). Friendship and comfort to Lennie comes in as a very vital fact that can not be replaced in his life.
Finally, it is vey clear at the end that mice are bound to suffer from destiny just as men do. Destiny comes in as a very ruthless killer who uses cruel fates to not only finish dreams but friendships in the book.