In Of Mice and Men, what do the figurative language, descriptions, sentence structure, verb forms, and word choices in the first paragraph of chapter 2 mean/allude to?
The first paragraph in Chapter 2 is a description of the bunkhouse at the ranch. The bunkhouse is currently empty. It is described as very plain. The walls are "whitewashed and the floor unpainted." It seems more like an army barracks than a ranch.
There is not much figurative language here. The word choices and sentence structures are very straight forward. This paragraph is simply a description of the setting; like stage directions and descriptions at the beginning of a scene of a play. The depiction does suggest a very bare scene. Five of the beds are made up and three are vacant. The bunkhouse is mostly unadorned, very plain; this suggests not only that it is bare and possibly depressing to look at, but also that it is built for the most basic needs. Itinerant ranchers such as George and Lennie often moved from job to job; therefore, ranchers often built very simple lodgings because many workers were only temporary. If anything, this paragraph presents how bare the bunkhouse is; all the more reason George and Lennie want to get a farm of their own - to get away from this itinerant lifestyle. The only sense of life and community in these descriptions is of the table in the center of the room:
In the middle of the room stood a big square table littered with playing cards, and around it were grouped boxes for the players to sit on.