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Of Mice and Men

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Setting Significance

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Steinbeck opens the story with the following beautiful description of the landscape through which George and Lennie are traveling.

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.

On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter's flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool.

What is the significance of opening the story with this description in the context of the story's exposition, as well as in the entire novella?

A

This description lets the reader know that this will be an uplifting story with a happy ending because it is set in such a beautiful place.

B

This description places the characters in a place reminiscent of the Garden of Eden so that, when they fall later in the story, their demise will be truly tragic.

C

This description symbolizes hope in the midst of desolation and isolation, which parallels George and Lennie's situation because they are hopeful as they leave Weed for the opportunity to follow their dream of owning a farm together.

D

This description tells the reader that this story will take place in California, which is important because ranchers in California did not have slaves in the 1930s.

E

Answers B and C are both correct.