More ‘Of Mice and Men’
Look at the extract below and answer the following question:
How does Steinbeck use details in this passage to present the bunkhouse and its
(Please note that I only want you to spend 20 minutes writing this up. Make clear points and use PEE. Remember, this question asks you to think about how the bunkhouse is presented and its inhabitants. For example, the bunkhouse is presented as a lifeless place ” quote” explain. Then, the inhabitants are lonely and they have no individual identity ” quote” explain. Aim for 3 pees. I’ve put a couple of interesting moments in bold to help. You could research Of Mice and Men settings)
The bunk house was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls were whitewashed
and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were small, square windows, and in the
fourth, a solid door with a wooden latch. Against the walls were eight bunks, five of
them made up with blankets and the other three showing their burlap ticking. Over
each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two
shelves for the personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk. And these shelves
were loaded with little articles, soap and talcum powder, razors and those Western
magazines ranch men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe. And there were
medicines on the shelves, and little vials, combs; and from nails on the box sides, a
few neckties. Near one wall there was a black cast-iron stove, its stove-pipe going
straight up through the ceiling. 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.
At about ten o’clock in the morning the sun threw a bright dust-laden bar through one
of the side windows, and in and out of the beam flies shot like rushing stars.
The wooden latch raised. The door opened and a tall, stoop-shouldered old man
came in. He was dressed in blue jeans and he carried a big push-broom in his left
hand. Behind him came George, and behind George, Lennie.
‘The boss was expectin’ you last night,’ the old man said. ‘He was sore as hell when
you wasn’t here to go out this morning.’ He pointed with his right arm, and out of
the sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand. ‘You can have them two beds
there,’ he said, indicating two bunks near the stove.
George stepped over and threw his blankets down on the burlap sack of straw that
was a mattress. He looked into the box shelf and then picked a small yellow can from
it. ‘Say. What the hell’s this?’
‘I don’t know,’ said the old man.
‘Says “positively kills lice, roaches, and other scourges”. What the hell kind of bed
you giving us, anyways. We don’t want no pants rabbits.’