On pages 99-100 of Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses image of nature to comment on the action at the ranch. Describe the image and explain connection to the themes in  novel.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Steinbeck created this sense of a cycle because that is what life is for us. Every book has a purpose to comment on real life issues that we might not only enjoy the text but be challenged to think about how this issues play out in our own lives.

Obviously a sharp theme in this book is sacrifice. George has sacrificed much of his potential for pleasure so that he can take care of Lennie. By this point in the story, he makes the ultimate sacrifice by giving Lennie a pain-free death and positioning himself to be caught by Curley as if he was doing Lennie a favor so Curley could not torture him.

The imagery of the location reflects complete and total serenity and perfection, something we hope for in an after-life. Hopefully George just sent Lennie there.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I’ll address the first part of your question. I’m not sure if your book is the same as mine, but look in your novel to see if the section with the heron eating the snake are on these pages. This image from nature foreshadows the unexpected demise that Lennie will endure. The theme this image reflects is survival.

George essentially puts his closest friend out of misery because he rationalizes it as the most humane action he can take and it is really the only way he can continue. George cannot allow Lennie to be put through a slow death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial