How Does Steinbeck Make the Fight Scene Dramatic in ‘of Mice and Men’ Essay
The fight scene takes place in the barn where Lennie is looking at the new-born pups, and Curley ran into the barn with the impression that his wife was cheating on him with Slim. The scene is already made slightly dramatic by portraying Curley, who has previously been portrayed as a small thug, as a bit of an idiot, as there was no proof that Slim was with his wife in the barn. As Curley busted into the barn, Lennie explains that his wife never entered the barn, and that it was just himself and Slim.
This would have made Curley even more stupid, because, if he didn’t back down and admit Lennie was right and he was wrong, Curley would have been told by someone has gained a reputation around the ranch as being, “Jus’ like a child”. Curley was clearly not ready to gain a reputation of being thick and to predictable. The scene is now made dramatic by having everybody in the bard gang up on Curley.
This would make Curley feel even smaller than he was, and a lot less tough. Glove fulla vaseline’ Candy said laughing, making Lennie laugh. ‘Curley stepped over Lennie like a terrier’. This animal imagery that Steinbeck uses shows Curley to have terrier characteristics. Steinbeck is saying that Curley is going to grab Lennie like a terrier grabs an animal, and never let go, just like a terrier. Curley then starts yelling and swearing at Lennie. ‘Come on ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me’.
This language makes the reader predict that clearly a fight is going to start, and the language used portrays Curley as the big, tough, unbeatable fighter, and portrays Lennie as a weak young fool. The next event to make this scene dramatic was George yelling at Lennie, ‘ Get him Lennie. Don’t let him do it’. George held Slim back and told Lennie to attack George himself. He is giving Lennie the authority to attack Curley; to do something slightly more daring than just working and saying nothing.
When Lennie grabbed Curleys fist and held him down, Steinbeck described Curley as ‘the flopping little man’ and, ‘white and shaken’. Curley is now the weak, defenceless looser instead of a punk. Finally, the scene is made dramatic when Lennie refuses to accept orders from George. ‘Leggo of him, Lennie. Let go’. George had to ask twice before Lennie accepted, and he felt guilty afterwards. The problem for George and Lennie is, because Lennie just attacked the boss’s son, are they going to be chucked of the ranch?