In two of John Steinbeck’s novels, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, there are many differences and similarities. The novels tell about people with problems and what they are doing to get through them or how they are solving them. The thing that is noticeable in both of these novels is Steinbeck’s writing style. In John Steinbeck’s novels The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men there are many writing style similarities and differences. Among the similarities and differences are the novels’ diction, figurative language, tone and mood, themes, and their connections to their historical period.

The first writing style element that is important is diction. The diction was similar in The Grapes of Wrath to that of Of Mice and Men in the way things were projected. Steinbeck didn’t change the way he told the story because his wording was the same. He used the same common language to describe the events that were happening. This made the novels easy to understand and read. For example, both of them begin with a simple but vivid description of the setting at the beginning of each book that tells you where the setting is and makes his writing style unique.

The second writing style element that is both similar and different in both books is figurative language. The figurative language is similar in the way that in both books the characters are compared to animals with similes and metaphors. For example in Of Mice and Men, Lennie is compared to a bear because of his great size, “Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes; rings widened across the pool to the other side and came back again”(3).

In The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck describes the chants of a song to that of sounds made by wolves, “Male and female voices had been one tone, but now in the middle of a response one woman’s went up and up in a wailing cry, wild and fierce, like the cry of a beast; and a deeper woman’s voice rose up beside it, a baying voice, and a man’s voice traveled up the scale in the howl of a wolf,” (212). Steinbeck uses figurative language in both books to better describe how the character is physically or to better describe their actions.

Steinbeck also uses figurative language differently in one of the two texts. In The Grapes of Wrath, he uses figurative language in order to describe whole situations or to give life to objects. An example of how he describes whole situations is how he describes what’s happening to the country during the migration to California during the Great Depression, Ever see one of them Gila monsters take hold, mister? Grabs hold, an’ you chop him in two an’ his head hangs on. Chop him at the neck an’ his head hangs on. Got to take a screw-driver an’ pry his head apart to git him loose. An’ while he’s layin’ there, poison is drippin’ an’ drippin’ into the hole he’s made with his teeth.” (129)

The character who describes this, Casy, is trying to explain to a man how what’s happening to the country and them is worse than anything and how it will not let go. The other way Steinbeck uses figurative language is to describe objects, “Cars limping along 66 like wounded things, panting and struggling. Too hot, loose connections, loose bearings, rattling bodies,” (122). His descriptions in The Grapes of Wrath are different from those of Of Mice and Men because there were more opportunities and more places to add them accordingly to the story than there were in Of Mice and Men.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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