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How Does Steinbeck’s Portrayal of Lennie in Chapter 1 Help to Prepare Us for the Dramatic and Later Events in the Novel?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Darkdragon
Words 656
Pages 3
Chapter 1 can prepare the reader for later events because Lennie is portrayed as a character that doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

In the first chapter the descriptions of both Lennie and George are displayed to introduce them; ‘A huge man, shapeless’ (page 20). From this description of Lennie it conveys to the reader that he is lifeless. This lifelessness could suggest that Lennie isn’t happy and is reflected upon how he walks as well as how he represents himself. The reasons why Lennie may feel upset could be due to the Great Depression and the Dust bowl.

The Great Depression lead to 15 million people unemployed and the Dust bowl happened when people over farmed which lead to crops not growing. However from chapter 1 it conveys Lennie and George as being poor due to what they wear; ‘demin trousers and in demin coats with brass buttons’ (page 19). Wearing demin in the 1940s indicated people being in the poor working class. The reason for this is because demin is hard wearing so it will last a long time which is useful for workers. The Great Depression would have mostly affected the middle and upper class.

The Dust bowl would have massively affected Lennie and George because a series of droughts lead to many farms no longer being able to operate. This would have meant it would be extremely hard for Lennie and George to find a job. Furthermore, people heard that in California the soil was still good and there was plenty of room and opportunities for work. This may have been one reason why Lennie and George went to Soledad ranch (the other reason was because Lennie tried to feel a girls dress because it looked like it would be soft. However she was unaware of what Lennie was trying to do so she screamed in fright. This was the reason why Lennie and George had to leave Weed).

In addition to this, the reader later finds out that Lennie has a…...

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