What is the setting as Of Mice and Men begins? What do you picture as the story opens? What does your imagination add to the sights, sounds, smells? What is happening?
The opening chapter of novella gives a picturesque description of the landscape. The Salinas River runs peacefully, rabbits come out to take in the beauty of the place, and there is worn path, where boys have used to play in the water. There are also mountains in the background. This landscape points to a place of paradise.
In light of this, the reader thinks of an idyllic setting. The reader’s mind might even drift to the Garden of Eden as a comparison. The reader might fill in setting with the warmth of the sun, as well as the smells of nature. The reader might even add in the sounds of nature-animals, the rustling of leaves, and the sounds of children enjoying the place.
Steinbeck sets the reader to expect a peaceful story. That said, it is also possible that the reader might think the place is too peaceful. Something too peaceful or too perfect might cast an ominous tone. If something is too good to be true, it usually is.