Symbolism In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

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Steinbeck uses light as a symbol to represent the fluctuating likelihood of George and his companion Lennie achieving their shared dream of one day saving up enough money and buying a ranch to call their own. As Slim and George approach the bunkhouse, Steinbeck emphasizes the darkness inside the bunkhouse and the “tin-shaded electric light” needed to brighten up the inside, though the light “[leaves] the corners of the bunkhouse still in dusk” (38). The darkness within the bunkhouse reflects the risks George and Lennie face: despite having a seemingly reliable job, they can be fired at any moment for any reason, and, without jobs, their dream will be reduced to merely a false hope, never to be achieved. Steinbeck intentionally mentions the
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