Where are some examples of diction in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?

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

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I think that one can find a great many examples of diction and peculiarities in speech patterns in Steinbeck's work.  One of the elements that makes his work so intensely powerful is that it captures the smallest nuances of individuals, right down to their speech patterns.  Lennie would be one such example.  His manner of speech is reflective of his character.  One does not see him speaking in a fast or accelerated manner, unless he is talking about rabbits.  The way in which he says, "George" or asks a question is one where diction is slow and deliberate, almost like a child worried about being disciplined.  Contrast this with George's intensity and use of dismissive diction patterns like "Awwww," to reflect displeasure with the temporary state.  When speaking with others, his diction is more guarded, almost reflective of his being calculating probability with terms like "Reckon."  Curley's wife's use of "pitchers" to reflect her desire to be in movies is another such example.  Curley's diction is laced with "sunuvabitch" and other slang that are laced together with speed and haste, in order to create a threatening persona that goes along with his pugilistic, and small, tendencies.

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