Of Mice and Men is a novel written by John Steinbeck. The novel is set during the Great Depression in the United States. Of Mice and Men is about the friendship between two men, George and Lennie. George is a small, intelligent man while Lennie is a large, simple-minded man. The two men travel together and work on farms. They are forced to move from place to place because Lennie always gets into trouble.
One of the themes in Of Mice and Men is irony. Dramatic irony is when the reader knows something that the characters do not know. This type of irony is used throughout the novel.
For example, early in the novel, George tells Lennie to stay away from the river because it is dangerous. Lennie does not listen to George and goes to the river anyway. While he is at the river, he meets a girl named Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife is very flirtatious and she tries to talk to Lennie. Lennie does not understand that she is flirting with him and he just wants to talk to her about rabbits.
Later, when George and Lennie are talking about their dream farm, George tells Lennie that he will get to tend the rabbits on their farm. Of course, this can never happen because Lennie will never be able to live on their farm after what happens with Curley’s wife. The fact that George has to kill Lennie at the end of the novel is also ironic.
There are many examples of irony in Of Mice and Men. The reader is often aware of things that the characters are not aware of. This creates a sense of tension and suspense throughout the novel.
The plot of this book follows the tale of two ranchers who, after suffering tragedy in Weed during the Great Depression, look for work and better prospects. The narrative’s main concentration is focused around the Salinas River in Southern Soledad, a peaceful and restful location.
In this story, the writer John Steinbeck uses a literary device known as dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is defined as a plot device whereby the audience knows more about the present or future circumstances than the character in the story. This is done to create suspense, humor, and tension in the tale. In Of Mice and Men, there are three key points in which dramatic irony is used:
The first instance of dramatic irony occurs when George tells Lennie about his dream of owning a farm. Lennie becomes fixated on this idea, and George has to remind him multiple times throughout the story that it’s just a pipe dream and will never actually happen. The reader knows that George is right – they know that Lennie will never be able to realize this dream – but Lennie doesn’t, and so he continues to hope. This creates suspense and tension because the reader is waiting to see how Lennie will react when he finally realizes that George was right all along.
The second instance of dramatic irony occurs when Curley’s wife tells Lennie that her husband is looking for him. She says that Curley is “mean” and “handy with his fists,” which makes Lennie nervous. The reader knows that Curley is looking for Lennie because he thinks Lennie has been messing around with his wife, but Lennie doesn’t know this. This creates suspense because the reader is wondering if Curley is going to find Lennie and what will happen if he does.
The third and final instance of dramatic irony in the story occurs when George shoots Lennie. Lennie doesn’t know that George is going to do this, but the reader knows because George has been talking about it throughout the story. This creates a sense of tension and suspense because the reader is waiting to see whether or not George will actually go through with it.
Despite the fact that the novel ends with a forward-moving motif, Steinbeck provides a backward motif as its main emphasis. Furthermore, just like they didn’t achieve the American Dream, Steinbeck establishes some early foreshadowing impact at the start of the narrative, such as when George says “We’re never going to do anything.”
In Of Mice and Men, the author John Steinbeck uses Dramatic irony as a literary device to create suspense, contrast, and emphasizing certain aspects in his novel.
One example of Dramatic irony is when Lennie accidently kills Curley’s wife. The reader knows that Lennie didn’t mean to hurt her, but Curley thinks that Lennie did it on purpose. This creates suspense because the reader is waiting to see what will happen next. Another example of Dramatic irony is when George tells Lennie about their dreams of owning a farm. Even though George knows that they will never be able to achieve this dream, he still tells Lennie about it. This contrasts the two characters because George is being realistic while Lennie is being hopeful.
Lastly, Dramatic irony is used to emphasizing certain aspects in Of Mice and Men. For example, the fact that Lennie is a big man with a lot of physical strength is emphasized when he accidentally kills Curley’s wife. This is because it shows how even though Lennie didn’t mean to hurt her, his physical strength still caused her death.
George’s response to Lennie’s death by Stroud is a prime example of dramatic irony in action. When George must make an important decision to kill his best friend Lennie, while Lennie believes they will have a new life, it’s known as the American Dream – “Go On, said Lennie.
George raised the gun and his hand shook, and he lowered it to the ground again…. How’s it going to be George?” This phrase indicates that because of Lennie’s mental disability, he is unaware of what he has done, so when George tells him that they’re not going anywhere (portraying the American Dream), he thinks they’ll have a brand-new life together (dramatic irony).
This is an example of Dramatic irony because the reader/viewer knows that George has to make a tough decision, whether he should kill Lennie or not.
Of Mice and Men is a novel written by John Steinbeck and was published in 1937. The novel is set during the Great Depression in California. Of Mice and Men tells the story of two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, who are trying to eke out a living on a ranch during the Depression. The novel Of Mice and Men contains many examples of irony. The three types of irony used in Of Mice and Men are verbal, situational, and dramatic irony.
Verbal irony is when a character says one thing but means another. An example of verbal irony in Of Mice and Men is when Slim says to Curley, “You got no rights messin’ around this place. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny” (Steinbeck 71). What Slim really means is that he could kill Curley easily.
Situational irony is when something happens that is the opposite of what was expected. An example of situational irony in Of Mice and Men is when Lennie kills Curley’s wife. Lennie did not mean to kill her, but he ended up doing it anyway.
Dramatic irony is when the reader or viewer knows something that the characters do not know. An example of dramatic irony in Of Mice and Men is when George tells Lennie to hide in the bushes while he goes into town to get some help. The reader knows that George is not really going to get help, but Lennie does not know this.
Irony is an important element in Of Mice and Men because it helps to create suspense and interest in the novel.