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How does the last chapter bring the book full circle?

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ashley222 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM via web

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How does the last chapter bring the book full circle?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM (Answer #1)

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From a stylistic point of view, the last chapter helps to bring the book full circle because it centers on George and Lennie.  Just as the opening of the book introduced both characters to the reader, the ending of the book does the same thing.  The fact that the setting is the same at the end and at the beginning helps to yield a sense of unity in the structure.  In the most paradoxical of ways, the ending being the same as the beginning helps to evoke the idea of there being a plan, being a sense of structure and unity.  George is taking care of and tending to Lennie when no one else would and when the world would take advantage of him.  This is seen in the end and in the beginning, though under vastly different conditions.  Helping to bring the thematic element of the book in full circle such as the love of dreams and the passion that animates individuals into action would be that in the opening of the book and in the ending of it, George has to tell Lennie the story of their farm and the dreams they both have in owning it.  This is something that is seen in both parts, again, though under different and horrific circumstances.  In both of these, the last chapter helps to bring out the first in full circle.

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