How Does Steinbeck Create Tension in of Mice and Men in Chapter 6?

1122 WordsApr 15, 20115 Pages
The tension that Steinbeck creates in chapter six is very prominent; there are moments of peace and moments of despair. The first case in which Steinbeck creates tension is at the very beginning of the first chapter where the reader can hear peace. It is only after reading chapter six that the reader on hindsight can compare the peacefulness in the first chapter to the tension in the last chapter, this creates tension as the reader is now well aware that one of Steinbeck’s narrative techniques is that the movement goes from harmony to discord. Steinbeck also uses pathetic fallacy, figurative and colloquial language to build the tension in the readers mind. The tension in chapter six rises when the reader finds out that the setting in the…show more content…
Another way in which Steinbeck uses strong verbs and adjectives is in the phrase “jacked its way clear of the water” which implies force; ironically a heron is a very delicate bird, whereas these incident show violence. These short simple sentences complement the absurdity of the event, which quickly builds the momentum of tension in chapter six. Tension is also built when the reader finds out how opposite things are happening to Lennie. His clumsy body language signals the tension to the reader. Steinbeck uses words like “quietly” to make the reader think that it is as though he knows he has done something wrong. Lennies body language can be shown through the way he drinks the water as he ”kneels down” in chapter six, instead of “drinking like a horse” in chapter one. We find this to be very different to the Lennie we met in chapter one. As Lennie is trying to process the problem we can assume that he feels guilty for what he has done. Tension in the novel again rises when there is a conversation between Lennie, his aunt Clara and a “gigantic rabbit”. Let alone everything we see to show the workings of Lennies mind, we can still tell that his mind is childlike if he is having imagery of a “gigantic” talking “rabbit”. The hallucinations that Lennie has shows that his mind is slowly breaking making the atmosphere more tense. Steinbeck very intelligently shows the dying of day through the lengthening “shadows” and that darkness is taking over. By

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