Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some similes in Of Mice and Men?    

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write10,803 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

There's a particularly wonderful simile in the opening pages when Steinbeck is describing the flat, featureless landscape against which the subsequent action will take place:

On the sand banks, the rabbits sat as quiet as little gray, sculptured stones.

This is a particularly effective simile as it conveys the sense of quiet and stillness of this part of the world. Straight away, we're given the impression that this is a place where not much happens. The stage is being set for George and Lennie's sudden arrival in this oasis of calm, which thanks to them won't be calm for much longer.

Talking of Lennie, here's another animal simile which perfectly encapsulates his character:

[B]ut he's sure a hell of a good worker. Strong as a bull.

The first part of this statement is indeed true. But it's the bit about his being strong as a bull that really captures the imagination. For Lennie is indeed strong; it's one of his main characteristics. In fact, he doesn't know his own strength, which gets him into a lot of trouble.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Sol Gandy eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write965 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

A simile is a type of figurative language which makes a comparison between two things using the words like or as. Like a metaphor, a simile seeks to show the qualities of one thing by comparing it to something quite different. Steinbeck often uses figurative language in his novella Of Mice and Men and similes are spread throughout the text in the third person narration (much of the novel is told through dialogue).

In chapter one, Lennie is described as being like a horse. In fact, Steinbeck frequently uses animal imagery to portray the big man:

His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse.

Also in chapter one, a simile is used to describe a snake which is part of the setting in the area between the Gabilan Mountains and Salinas River where George and Lennie camp:

A water snake...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 682 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial