From rags to ranches
Everyone or nearly everyone is poor and scrambling around desperately for work, food, and money. Lennie and George are part of the poor and scrambling. In the first chapter we see them at the Salinas River. On one side of the river there is a golden foothill that curves into the Gabilan mountains and on the other side the water is lined with “willows fresh and green.” Lenni started drinking water from the river and he didn't understand the cause and effect of it, he didn't understand how it could affect the natural world.
Home sweet home?
The bunkhouse was a long rectangular wooden building with eight bunks with in it. The floor was unpainted, 3 of the bunks were unoccupied. All the walls were “whitewashed” meaning “a solution of lime and water to prepare the walls to be painted white” according to the oxford dictionary. Apple boxes were nailed above each of the bunks for the men’s personal belongings. An iron wood burning stove sits near one of the walls and a long rectangular table in the middle of the cabin with playing cards scattered all over it. There was very little light coming in from the outside because there were very few windows. A big wooden door with a latch sits at the front of the bunkhouse keeping animals and other unwanted things out at night.
Analysis of light and dark
The setting change in the story Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck from beauty in nature, to the dark world of men, really takes a toll on the mood in the story. Nature filled everybody with happiness and joy, but the second chapter of this story turned the mood to dark and nasty. The river where Lennie and George were was filled with light and pureness, the ranch was the opposite, dark and corrupt. George thought the people at the ranch thought that he had lice or roaches with him, “Says ‘positively kills lice, roaches and other scourges’…” (Steinbeck, 18, 1937)