Steinbeck has shown a direct significance in chapters 1 and 6 to show his view on survival of the fittest and dreams. The novel is cyclical as we examine, begins and ends in the same place. The beginning included keywords such as ‘twinkling’, ‘sunlight’ and ‘golden’, which makes the setting seem almost like the Garden of Eden. It has also been quoted that ‘a path had been beaten hard by boys’, portraying the theme of the novel, where nature being the weak and man destroying it with their power, shows the weak never survive and it’s the battle of the survival of the fittest. Even throughout the novel, events are foreshadowed throughout.Order now
Where the death of Candy’s dog foreshadows the death of Lennie, Lennie killing the mouse, the puppy, and then the girl, all show a link to what may happen. Both chapter 1 and chapter 6 feature animals to foreplay the story where Steinbeck can give us two ideas to the theme of the novel and where he introduces the water snake and heron. Where in the first chapter everything seems to be calm and under control and peaceful, but in the last chapter it seems as if good (being nature) had been destroyed, where the heron then eats the water snake ‘plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake’.
This scene gives us a sense of the weak not being able to survive but then the scene is followed by ‘re-birth’ or a new life, ‘another little water snake swam up the pool’, which gives us another sense that even after death and the feeling of all hope being lost, there may still be a second chance. In chapter 6 on the other hand, the setting is completely different. All signs of hope seem to have been gone and highlights the end to the ‘American dream’, which could link to how they have been destroyed throughout the novel.
The whole heavenly-like atmosphere has disappeared where the peaceful surroundings have now turned into almost a hell-like vision with ‘the sun had left the valley’, ‘a pleasant shade had fallen’, symbolising the death of dreams and the use of pathetic fallacy. We know from just by looking at the scene where the whole novel had started, which was based in the location ‘Soledad’ meaning loneliness in Spanish, that loneliness is the main theme, where every man is for himself, where they dream of freedom that they can never really get.