Discuss the animal imagery at the beginning of chapter 3.
Steinbeck begins by describing the town as an animal, comparing it to an animal in order to stress how the town has a rhythm of its own.
A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns, so that there are no two towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. (ch 3)
Steinbeck is reminding us that the story takes place in a village, and villages have a different social structure. A village is an entity, a life form, in and of itself. The town thinks- it has a nervous system and a head. News seems to travel on its own. Towns like this also feel; they have their own emotion. This stresses the cultural aspect of the town, and its uniqueness. The people of the town act as one.