Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Of Mice and Men, the author talks about an apple box. What is the purpose of elaborating on the contents of the apple box in the opening paragraph of Chapter Two?

Expert Answers info

Michael Foster eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write579 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Each ranch hand is given a bunk of his own. Attached to the bunk is an apple crate in which he can keep whatever personal possessions he has, whether it is hygiene items, magazines, mementoes, etc. Crooks also has one in his room, separate from the other men. The purpose of the detailed description of the items is to show the personality of the individual. They elaborate on what is important to the men, especially in keeping themselves presentable whenever they leave the ranch. They are items they need for their passage to the outside world.

Also, in a way, this apple box is their sole claim to a home of their own. They do not own the bunkhouse, nor the bed they sleep in. Their do not own the table where they play cards. They do not own the stove that keeps them warm. All these belong to someone else. But the contents of the apple box are their own. When they leave, they will take the things with them, until they find a new place to store them as a slim sign of temporary ownership of a resting place.

 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial