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Of mice and men - A comparison of the opening scenes of the film and the beginning of the book Essay Example for Free

‘Of mice and men’ – A comparison of the opening scenes of the film and the beginning of the book Essay Fiction (1033) , Book (985) , John Steinbeck (629) , Of Mice and Men (560) company About StudyMoose Contact Careers Help Center Donate a Paper Legal Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy Complaints A comparison of the opening scenes of the film and the beginning of the book ‘Of mice and men’ is set in southern California at the time of the great depression (late 1920 and early 30’s), the basis of the story is about 2 men George and Lenny, who are two workers who travel from place to place finding work on ranches, so they can earn there 50 bucks a month. George is the leader out of the two he looks after Lenny, sorts out where they go and what they do and eat. Lenny is a very big and strong man, but he is very dumb and could not look after himself, he his at heart a nice, harmless man but likes colourful, nice feeling things, so he is just like a small child. Lenny gets them into trouble a lot, he likes to touch nice things and when he does people get the wrong idea and like at the start of the book and film gets accused of rape, and at the end causes a death of a woman. Like most writers or directors, John Steinbeck and Gary Sinise try to grab the readers or viewer’s attention. Even though the novel and film are based on the same story, they use different techniques and ways to try and get the audiences attention. In the novel John Steinbeck uses a lot of description of his settings and this is how he tries to keep the audience’s imagination going. For example in the first two pages of the novel, he uses a strong descriptive and a strong style of language to try and give an effect of a natural, calm and peaceful atmosphere, also when describing the willow pool he tries and puts as much detail in as possible, as this area of land is one of the most important places in the story as this is where Steinbeck starts the story and ends it in a similar place. It’s quite amazing how Steinbeck manages to turn a violent and threatening scene into a calm, relaxing place and an almost peaceful time. I think that the first set of settings is set in a spring/summer theme as they are talking about there dream which is seen as the American dream of this time, so this also relates to life in the late boom and depression of the 1920’s. The beginning is used to try and introduce the two main characters portraying Lenny as the leader and it seems that he is like a father to Lenny who is portrayed as a small child who cannot control what he is doing. George also knows he has to take the role as the father or older brother and has to keep rules and tells him what to do, e.g. when they are drinking from the lake Lenny keeps his head in the water and is just guzzling the water down, then George says; â€Å"For god sake don’t drink so much†, and also he checks if the water is safe by making sure that its is running although George is of little intelligence him self he knows how to stay alive and live well. Gary Sinise tries to grab the audience’s attention quite differently at the beginning of the film as he uses a dramatic sequence of George and Lenny sitting in the luggage holder of a train, and you see him thinking back to what happened at Weed. When this is happening the light fades over Georges face from the cracks in the compartments wooden walls, this effect of the light streaming across his face gives an imaginary sense of prison bars. During Georges flashbacks you see them running fast and out of breath down a field full of long grass, and it keeps flashing back on Georges face in the train giving you a sense of distress instead of the calming effect of the novel. It then flashes to a pretty woman in a red dress that has a rip going down the bottom of it, the air flows through her dress and hair as she is running down a field. This scene really is exciting and full of tension to the viewer, which contrasts totally to the calm and peaceful opening of the book. Next you she a bunch of workers in a field, and they hear the girl’s screams. The workers on horse follow carrying shotguns. This contrasts to the life of today against nearly a century ago, as nowadays Lenny would have been arrested and put to a fair trial but back then they would have just killed Lenny on the spot. This scene puts people on the edges of their seats giving a sense of suspense; this is how a good director is able to keep the audiences attention to the film. The scene of the willow pool is quite like the scene in the book it gives a more relaxed effect from the previous suspense scenes, as they hide neck deep under the overflowing bush weed, and luckily the workers lose them. When we see George and Lenny getting there work cards it proves the fact that this is in the 1930’s as there were a lot of job shortages and you had to go to a job office and see if any jobs were available, most people would take any job there was, because of the depression. This then gives us a slight historical background of the time they are in. George in the book is firstly described as â€Å"small and quick, dark of face with restless eyes and sharp, strong features†. George being described as having restless eyes gives an impression that he is quite alert and a quick thinker of what to do in troubled times. Lenny on the other hand is described quite differently: â€Å"Huge man, shapeless face with large, pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws†. â€Å"†¦the way a bear drags his paws† Lenny is being described as an animal which shows that he is a slow and clumsy both physical and mentally. The characters in the film are unlike the ones in the book as they are not physically opposite. Lenny is only slightly taller than George, but the behaviours of these two characters do mirror that it is similar to the book as Lenny acts like a child and George is the smart, dominant one. This is often shown in the close ups of their faces and in their speech and movement. The clothes they wear are described in the book as workers clothes so rugged and tattered, so the movie is also based on this part as the clothes in the movie are like this. In my opinion I think casting John Malkovich was perfect to be Lenny as he was able to portray the child like brain of Lenny. He seemed to fit the right description of Lenny. The voice used by John Malkovich was very effective in giving the viewer a childlike impression of Lenny. Gary Sinise although he was director he himself played George and he obviously knew how he wanted George to be played and he did with an amazing attitude, he gave out the attitude and cunningness of George as is written in the book. In conclusion, the beginning of the book and the beginning of the film are based on the same storyline. The way the scenes are described and presented are really quite different. Gary Sinise is able to create a sense of action and suspense followed by the calm of the willow pool, whilst Steinbeck creates a very rich and calm descriptive opening scene, which contrasts with the violence of what is actually happening. ‘Of mice and men’ – A comparison of the opening scenes of the film and the beginning of the book. (2017, Oct 26). We have essays on the following topics that may be of interest to you

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