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Of mice and Men and The Withered Arm - Comparisons

Uploaded by shiv on Feb 16, 2002

English essay on wide reading - “The Withered Arm” and “Of mice and Men”

“Of Mice and Men” was written by the author John Steinback and published in England in1937. It tells the story of two very contrasting characters trying to live out the American dream in the farming lands of North California. The tale is classed as a short story as is “The Withered Arm” which is a story about witchcraft in Dorchester during the 18th century. This book was written by the author Thomas Hardy and published in 1888.

Although the stories were written in different centuries and tell of different circumstances there are many similarities between them involving outsiders, loneliness, the roles of women and much more.

Straight away you can tell when reading that the two books are from separate times and places and this is due to the language and setting used.

In “Of Mice and Men” the language used is that of the itinerant worker this is typical of that which would have been used on the farms at the time. This helps add to the realism of the story and make it more life like. Steinback also uses a great deal of description including metaphors and similes to describe the landscape around him. These give us a clear and vivid picture of the natural world surrounding the characters. This technique is particularly used in the first and last scene in the forest near the river. This scene is remembered the most clearly as its placed at the two crucial points where readers will be reading every word in detail to gain a good understanding of the book. The fact that the story ends in the same place it began gives it a circular structure. Not only are the characters in the same place but life is set to continue in the same way for George as he will leave this farm to work at another just as he was doing at the beginning.

The language and setting is also very important in “The Withered Arm” as many words in the story such as “lorn” and “wellnigh” are not commonly used in the writing today so help set a date to the story. Because Hardy was brought up in Dorset and the people in the villages there spoke their own dialect some of the words used in the story also help set a place to the time...

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Uploaded by:   shiv

Date:   02/16/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   7 pages (1,520 words)

Views:   1561

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