"As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment."(pg 93)
Think about dialogue he writes for the various characters as well as pieces like this passage.
Agreed on both previous posts, as the points were eloquently states. In rereading Steinbeck's passage, I am reminded of a point that Milan Kundera made in his book, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. He argues that the memories of revulsion and joy are measured in the same time conception. One minute of a painful experience is sixty seconds, as is one minute of a joyful experience. Yet, in our mind's eye, the memories of revulsion seem to last much longer and seem to reappear in our memories more than the memories of joy. Kundera wrote this regarding a woman who is a victim of sexual assault, when her mind relives the moment repeatedly, time seems to be suspended as the memory lasts "for more than a moment." Steinbeck's reconfiguration of time in a subjective and personalized sense is so powerful and recently reading Kundera's own analysis seems to lend credence to such a notion.
Pmiranda's poetic response perfectly captures the essence of Steinbeck's phrase.
Steinbeck is one of my favorite writers, largely because he accomplishes so much with such spare writing. I recently reread Of Mice and Men and was moved to tears. The story could so easily have been melodramatic or inauthentic.
The passage is beautifully reflective of a tragic moment in the book, it shows the depth of reality that Steinbeck injects into his writing. He makes you feel the pain here, the reader knows that this moment is transformational for the characters in the book, especially George and Lennie.
This passage refers to the scene in the barn where Curley's wife lay dead. Her accidental death changes everything for both Lennie and George. Steinbeck focuses or lingers on this moment to enhance the tragic circumstances and consequences that will follow. It is as if the world has stopped, for Lennie and George gone will be the dream of owning a farm.
Moments like this in life, real life, take on a special quality, they become frozen in time. Steinbeck is reminding the reader how one moment can alter a life, how one moment can change your reality. His poetic pause in this part of the story is relevant to the situation. The reader pauses to reflect on what will happen to Lennie, how will George save him now?