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How Does Steinbeck Create Tension in the Fight Scene?

  • Date Submitted: 05/19/2011 01:49 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.9 
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How does Steinbeck create tension and make the fight scene exciting for the reader?

Steinbeck creates tension in the scene in which Lennie and Curley fight by using multiple techniques that creates tension to the reader. Tension makes the reader want to read more and it makes the text more enjoyable to them.

Steinbeck uses a few similes to show that Curley was aggressive, for example when he was comparing him to a terrier, a small violent dog. Instead of using the word hands for Lennie’s hands, he uses ‘paws’ and by adding the ‘huge’ in front of it, it compares Lennie to a bear. Instead of just stating how small Curley is Steinbeck uses dialogue when Slim calls Curley a ‘dirty little rat’ which emphasizes Curleys small size. The imagines Curley having a violent and aggressive tone when talking to Lennie and this creates more tension. When Curley shouts to Lennie and calls him a ‘big son-of-a-bitch’ the writer emphasizes Lennie’s bigness again.

By using a metaphor ‘Curley’s rage exploded’ the reader can understand that his anger was like a bomb and it exploded violently. Finally there is a huge contrast between Curley, who is violent and aggressive like a terrier and the helpless Lennie who was still looking blankly at Curley and smiling in the memory of their future ranch.

Steinbeck uses an onomatopoeia when Curley is attacking Lennie ‘then smashed down his nose with a right’ and this sentence make the reader think about the scene and what is going on in the fight.


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