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What is Steinbeck's writing style? What devices does he use, what makes him unique,...

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angelaaa | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2007 at 11:28 AM via web

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What is Steinbeck's writing style? What devices does he use, what makes him unique, etc...

Specifically in Of Mice and Men.

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jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 31, 2007 at 2:50 PM (Answer #1)

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What makes Steinbeck's style unique is his dual use of omniscient narration combined with a real empathy for his characters. Lennie and George are not educated and they are transients. But they also possess a dignified humanity.

Steinbeck also writes with lyrical beauty of the Salinas Valley, a beauty that always runs as an undercurrent, no matter how tragic or tortured the action of the novel.

Lastly, the "American Dream" is one the author extends to every man (and woman). Lennie and George hope for the same things everyone else does: a place to call their own and the continual pursuit of happiness. Although their dreams might be unrealistic, they are no more so than those of most people.

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 31, 2007 at 2:51 PM (Answer #2)

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Steinbeck's strongest writing talent is in his use of characterization. In all of his novels, OMAM included, we really feel like we know the characters. In this case, we can relate to the struggles George has with Lenny; we can sympathize for Lenny and his trials; we also get a great stereotyped picture of the other ranch hands. Steinbeck is a master at getting his audience to empathize with his characters.

The other thing that Steinbeck does that draws in readers is creating situations that make us think "What if that was me?" In the case of OMAM, what if you or I was George? Could we shoot our best friend to help him? Steinbeck's ability to take modern ideas and place them in a setting and plot that are still pertinent 70 years later is why many people still enjoy his writing.

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the1andonlytomboy | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 30, 2008 at 6:41 AM (Answer #3)

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Steinbeck does use an omniescient point of view in his writings in Of Mice And Men.  He also denotes certain foreshadowing that might go unnoticed if the reader is not paying attention.  Steinbeck's decriptions are rich and detailed and he utilizes adjectives that give a description to everything.  The dialect between characters draws a picture of  how the characters speak instead of just what they say.  All in all, Steinbeck's greatest utensil in his writings in Of Mice And Men is the diction.

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