Of Mice and Men - Essay 3


In my view the most successful technique in illustrating John Steinbeck’s view of fate is the symbolism in the last chapter . ‘A watersnake glided smoothly up the pool , twisting its periscope head from side to side , and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows . A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head , and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically ‘. The heron , motionless and waiting , represents fate while the watersnake , helpless and unaware , is its victim .

Steinbeck’s view on fate is illustrated again by the word choice . Words like lanced , plucked and waiting suggest that Steinbeck believes that fate striking is almost medical ; sure and precise .

The watersnake could represent almost anyone in the novel although it is most likely that it represents George . The heron represents fate , but also Lennie as he was the one who was always going to destroy George’s dream .

In conclusion I consider the main theme to be fate . I consider the symbolism of the watersnake and the heron to be the most successful technique in putting across Steinbeck’s pessimistic views on the subject .

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