Use of language in Of Mice and Men

Steinbeck includes a lot of dialogue in the book, and this is all written in colloquial language. This reflects the way that people would really have spoken, which shows Steinbeck’s focus on trying to show the hardship of life for itinerant workers during the Great Depression.

There is a lot of animal imagery used throughout the novella. Lennie in particular is linked to animals through similes and metaphors. This demonstrates his inability to understand the behaviour of others and the consequences of his own actions. The way that animals are treated, such as Candy’s dog, also reveals a lot about how society treats people.

Steinbeck writes in a direct and straightforward way, particularly when referring to things that happen on the ranch. This reflects the way in which the men on the ranch speak: they are honest and forthright. However, in the parts of the book (mainly at the beginning and end) which are set in unspoiled nature, Steinbeck is more descriptive, perhaps suggesting that beauty exists in this world primarily where man has not interfered.