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I think that one of the strongest examples of figurative language exists when Steinbeck is discussing the manner in which George and Slim talk with one another. It is a significant moment because it's the first real moment where George opens up about his life and Lennie's life. Steinbeck uses the language of a "priest" and penitent in discussing how George speaks with Slim. George "opens up" like one who is confession and Slim is the "priest- like" figure in this dialogue. This is significant as it reflects much about George's difficulty in being able to speak to another and also makes clear how Steinbeck feels about Silm being someone of a true force of valor in the novella. I think that the metaphor of Candy's dog being taken out and shot is a significant symbol of human cruelty and the silence that often enables it. No one speaks in defense of Candy's dog, and the voices of destruction go unchecked. The "silence" that permeates this scene is representative of the lack of human affect, enabling cruelty to take hold. This is a symbol that ends up haunting the entire novella, especially given the ending.
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