The meaning of a text is brought out through techniques. Respond to this statement using Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that there is much in way of validity in the statement.  Steinbeck's use of different techniques in his writing help to bring out the multiple layers of meaning in Of Mice and Men. 

One of these techniques is dialogue.  Steinbeck's use of dialogue helps to bring out much in way of meaning in the work.  Characterizations are developed, conflicts are introduced, heightened, and resolved, and overall thematic meanings are illuminated through the dialogue between characters. Slim's conversations with George about Lennie, Crooks' exchange with Lennie and Candy, and Lennie and Curley's wife's interaction are all predicated with the use of dialogue.  It becomes critically important to the novel's meaning that the technique of dialogue is employed effectively. 

At the same time, I think that the use of narrative voice is extremely important in the work.  This technique enables the reader to understand the conditions that surround Lennie and George, impacting them in different ways.  Sometimes, this technique helps to explain much about their companionship, such as in the opening and closing of the book.  At other moments, such as the description of the workhouse that the men find themselves, it helps to reveal the nature of the reality that envelops both of them. The technique of narrative voice helps the reader to understand more of the meaning in the text.

Finally, Steinbeck's use of foreshadowing is extremely meaningful in the reading of the text. The death of Candy's dog helps to foreshadow what will happen to Lennie and in both settings, one sees both the limitations of human beings as well as an expansion of human capacity. In the use of such a technique, greater meaning of the work is evoked.  Through such examples, I think that Steinbeck's technique plays a vital role in seeking to better understand the layers of meaning in the text.

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Of Mice and Men

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