Steinbeck uses language to persuade the audience to believe there is conflict between blacks and whites. Crooks is a black character in the novel and often in the dialogue between the other men, the word “ nigger” is used. As a reader we can see they don’t count crooks as one of them, since he also has to live down in the stable buck rather than in the bunk house. We can also tell that the novel was set before racism became an issue, and blacks hadn’t yet had respects and rights.
The readers are lead to believe that Lennie is going to have a problem with Curley when Steinbeck introduces us to Curley. Steinbeck used phrases such as “ He hates big guys. ” Also “ he’s mad at them because he ain’t a big guy” From these comments that the swapper makes about Curley we can tell that Lennie is going to get in trouble with Curley, one because he isn’t wise and has the mind or a child and also because he is big and like the swapper said Curley “ hates big guys”.
Curley’s wife has illustrated an image for her self as being a “ tart”, many of the ranch men use this word to describe her. We can tell from the way Steinbeck describe the things Curley’s wife does that shows she openly flirts with the men, one of the phrases that is used to describe her actions is “ she put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward” The language used to describe how “ her body was thrown forward” leads us to imagine its almost as if she is giving them all her body and trying to seduce them all even though she has a boyfriend.
However most of the men don’t see her as the type of person they’d want to get involved with since she has a bad reputation they may think she is attractive but wouldn’t want anything more. When Lennie sees her he “ watched her, fascinated” but since he has the mentality of a child he isn’t sexually attracted, he just wants to pet her like he would a mouse because she’s all pretty and cute to him.
Slims character in the novel seems to have a lot of respect from the others, Steinbeck’s language used to describe slim tell us that he has a lot of dignity. One of the phrases Steinbeck uses to describe slim is “ His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love. ” This tells us the character slim is known to have a lot of respect and attention from the other characters. The complete opposite to Curley.
The social environment in the novel tells us there is a lot of hostility between the characters; they are constantly paranoid and snappy. When George thinks someone is listening to his conversation he snaps at them “ Say, what the hell you doin’ listenin’” This comment tells us as readers that they are all alert and even though they get along don’t really trust one another. Since George and Lennie are only short time workers so they will feel uncomfortable and unwelcome with this environment.