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Of Mice and Men

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Difficult

Setting Contrast between Chapters 1 and 2

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The bunkhouse 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.

What is the effect of the contrast between the setting described in Chapter 2 (excerpted above) and the beautiful, outdoor paradise described at the beginning of Chapter 1?

A

The contrast emphasizes the downtroddenness and hopelessness of the human condition as compared to the freedom and peace that nature provides, and serves to create tension for the reader.

B

The description of the bunkhouse is merely a setting description, not an intentional contrast, and it simply serves to "set the stage" for Chapter 2.

C

The contrast creates tension because the reader, as well as George and Lennie, immediately gets the sense that something horrible will happen in the bunkhouse.

D

The contrast creates a depressing tone because George and Lennie are trapped now that they've taken this job and they will likely be on the ranch for a very long time.

E

The contrast emphasizes the stark, dirty lifestyle of the ranch workers as compared to the fresh cleanliness of nature, and serves to create some mystery for the reader.