Tonal Analysis for of Mice and Men

1774 Words Jan 15th, 2012 8 Pages
Tonal Analysis for Of Mice and Men

An author writes to be heard. Their communication is purposeful, and an author who is truly in touch with the art of fiction evokes emotions in the reader throughout their work. These moods, or tones, are not used simply for the sake of being used, but rather in the hopes of moving the reader to think and realize essential messages about life. In the case of John Steinbeck, the tones of his short novel Of Mice and Men can be said to be a triumphant hope accompanying dreams, along with a terrifying hesitancy and fear of obstacles and defeat. The reluctance to fail becomes evident from the start of the story, and endures as the piece develops. On occasion, the elation of conquest and success
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Before long, however, a passage appears in which not only does the author shape a different tone, but another element of the story is introduced to unnervingly foreshadow the future of Lennie and George’s existence. Candy, a worker at George and Lennie’s new job, has had his dog since it was a pup. It is sick, leaving it in a weak and hopeless state. A fellow employee decides he’s going to kill it himself, for Candy is hesitant of committing such a crime against his companion of years. Candy’s affection for this dog is evident, and having someone else end its life leaves everyone in the room heavyhearted. A silence, an awful awkward silence invades the room as they wait to hear the gun shot signaling death (48). Steinbeck’s mention of the muteness makes for an overwrought, trepid tone exemplary of people’s attitudes towards things that are special or different in some way, like Candy’s dog, and even Lennie, whose limitations stir up feelings of rejection in other individuals. Things not functioning as the world thinks they should are simply disposed of. Unexpectedly, however, Steinbeck builds more positive tones. Shortly after the before mentioned episode, George and Lennie retell their fantasy to each other, oblivious to Candy’s overhearing. Candy then claims delightedly he could join them and be of assistance to make their dream a reality with the money he has saved up. George

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