Inferences from Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’

A short piece of inference from Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, written in lesson by Lilyjana, Year 9. The aim of the task was to try and work out what the author was trying to convey without actually saying it, therefore building a bigger and more realistic picture in the reader’s mind.


“On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them. Rabbits come out of the bush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ‘coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.”

The opening description of Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ creates many clear images in the mind of the reader. The quote ‘leaves lie deep and so crisp’ implies that the scene is cold and during autumn or winter. The phrase ‘leaves lie’ shows the reader the leaves have fallen from the trees which means it is getting ready for winter. Additionally the phrase is a use of alliteration and personification giving it a human like features.

The writer has used a second way to make many clear images in the mind of the reader. ‘Dogs’ from the ranches’ indicates it is not in a busy city but in the countryside as a ranch is like a farm. You would only find them in the countryside because in the countryside there is more space for animals and barns. Secondly this phrase could also suggest danger as the noun ‘dogs’ could be a sign of danger because dogs in packs can be vicious.

Lilyjana, Year 9.