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May I have an example of verbal irony and symbolism in Of Mice and Men, chapter 4

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squichi | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 20, 2010 at 2:00 AM via web

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May I have an example of verbal irony and symbolism in Of Mice and Men, chapter 4

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kmarcus | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2010 at 4:52 PM (Answer #1)

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verbal irong\y is when one says something one doesn't mean.  Goerge fall into the trap because he is committed to care for lennie but he resents it at times.  Symbolism is the mouse who reps Lennei's comfortable, security and dream--taking care of all the animals on the far he and georg plan to get.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 13, 2010 at 10:45 PM (Answer #2)

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One of the key symbols in this book that comes up again in Chapter 4 is the dream of owning a patch of land and living "on the fatta the lan'." This key image recurrs throughout the story and seduces not only George and Lennie but other characters too, such as Candy and Crooks. It is such an important symbol beause it symbolises dreams, freedom and independence in an otherwise cruel world.

Verbal irony is saying the opposite of what you really mean. We see an example of this when Candy enters Crooks' room and Crooks says:

"Come on in. If ever'body's comin' in, you might just as well."

Clearly this is ironic because Crooks is fiercely possessive of his space and does not like others invading it. On the other hand, inspite of the tone of voice, he is lonely and therefore wants company.

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Julie Feng | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM (Answer #3)

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Verbal irony is the use of words to convey a certain meaning that is the opposite of the literal or intended meaning. It is using vocabulary to describe something or express something in a manner that is other than it seems to be. 

Symbolism is the use of something physical or tangible to represent an idea or quality, metaphorically. 

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