Mood of of Mice and Men

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

In the 1937 novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and the 1992 MGM film adaptation, directed by Gary Sinise, George and Lennie are two farmhands who have the dream of owning their own land. However, their dreams are destroyed when George is left with no other choice but to kill Lennie. When a movie is based on a book, debates often arise as to which is better. In this case, some say that the film is far greater than the book. They can argue that the film provides certain aspects that allow viewers to connect with Sinise’s intention. In fact, the movie is superior in portraying the work’s meaning because of the way acting is used to express themes and how it communicates mood through music.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

The acting in the film allows viewers to see the emotions of the characters and connect them to themes in the story. In the middle of the film, Candy, George, and Lennie plan to get their own land. As they talk about their dream, they become more eager and their faces light up as they laugh and smile at the thought of it coming true (Sinise). In this scene, viewers can clearly see that they have hope for their dream to become reality. By viewing the characters’ expressions, the audience can relate their emotions to the theme of hope. The acting allows the audience to see the characters, which lets viewers connect their emotions to the works’ meaning. Another example of acting is when Candy’s dog dies. When Carlson takes Candy’s dog, Candy lays on his bed waiting for the sound of his gun to go off. Candy hears the shot and shudders at the sound of it. He scrunches up his face in pain as he whimpers and rolls to the other side of the bed and cries. The anguish on his face and the way he cries softly show the pain he is experiencing. The audience can clearly see Candy’s sorrow as he mourns over his beloved friend. By viewing his sadness and sorrowful actions, viewers can associate his expressions of pain with the theme of loss that exists throughout the story. Seeing the characters allows viewers to see exactly what emotions the actors are trying to portray. By identifying the characters’ feelings, viewers can connect their expressions to themes in the story.

In addition to the acting, the film is also superior to the book in the way it communicates the mood with the use of music. In the middle of the film, Candy, Lennie, and George talk about their dream of owning their own land. When they start to plan it out, the music starts soft and smooth as the string instruments play long notes. As their plan becomes realistic, Candy, George, and Lennie talk eagerly, and the music crescendos and gets louder to match their high energy. It rises until it reaches a peak and then slowly dies down as the other workers approach the bunkhouse (Sinise). The music in this scene makes viewers feel hopeful and connects them with the characters’ emotions. The crescendo builds up the excitement of the characters and emphasizes their hopefulness. The viewers can feel the rise of energy as they become more eager about their dream coming true. With each note change of the smooth instruments, the viewers get entranced in the feeling of the characters’ hope. The music affects the audience’s mood and makes them feel a certain way. Another example of music is when George kills Lennie. After George shoots Lennie, somber music begins to play. The soft parts of the piano and string instruments play as George kneels over his best friend. The piano plays a slow and gentle melody with the violins in accompaniment playing repeated notes (Sinise). The sad music connects viewers to what George was feeling when he shot his best friend. The mournful music pulls on the heartstrings of the viewers and makes them feel emotional towards Lennie’s death. The soft melody of the piano has a calming effect on the audience and captivates them into George’s feelings. Music affects the viewers’ emotions and helps control the mood of the movie. The music makes it easier to feel the mood of the scene and what the audience is supposed to feel. By listening to the sad music, the audience feels the sadness of the scene, and when they hear upbeat music, the audience feels positive. Music affects the viewer’s emotions and adds to the effectiveness of the mood it portrays. The movie is superior to the book because of the music and how it helps viewers feel the mood of the scene.

While the film is superior to the book with the use of acting and music, some people say that the book is superior to the film because of its characterization. The book’s characterization is more detailed and adds a greater depth to each character. Steinbeck’s description of each character allows readers to connect to the characters and get a better sense of who they are. One example of the book’s characterization is when Slim is introduced to the story. Slim walks in and, “moves with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen…There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject,” (Steinbeck 33). Slim is described as this great being who is like royalty. Steinbeck introduces Slim as a godlike character and really exaggerates his characterization. The way he catches the attention of everyone when he talks may show how much he impacts others. Some may say that Slim’s majestic characterization allows readers to clearly understand his character and that he is an influential person. Another example of the book’s characterization is when Curley’s wife meets Lennie and George. Curley’s wife walks to the bunkhouse and, “puts her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward,” (Steinbeck 31). Curley’s wife is described as a very promiscuous character. The way she thrusts her body forward gives readers a clear idea of what she is like. Her characterization in the book is very clear in showing that she has a flirty personality and readers can assume that she is up to no good. The book’s characterization provides a more elaborate description of the characters and what they are like. Some people say that Steinbeck’s characterization is what makes the book superior to the film because it creates a better image of the characters for the readers.

While some may think the book’s characterization is greater, the characterization in the movie is superior because of the acting. While the book uses descriptive words to describe the characters, the movie provides a visual aspect that allows the audience to see their behavior and get a better sense of what they are like. One example of the film’s superior characterization is when Curley’s wife is talking to Lennie in the barn. As Curley’s wife talks about her past, Lennie has a blank look on his face as he looks around in confusion. Lennie barely pays attention to her and when she addresses him, he replies in a childish voice (Sinise). Viewers see Lennie’s behavior and can assume that he struggles mentally. His absent expression shows that he is not mentally aware of everything and is in his own world. Additionally, Lennie’s voice is different and has a childish tone to it. From the tone of his voice, viewers hear that he has immature speech and they can assume that he is not fully developed. The movie provides an image of Lennie that viewers can use to understand his limited intellectual abilities. The audience can view his actions and create their own interpretation of him. By being able to see the characters, viewers can observe their actions and behavior to further understand them. With the use of acting, the movie’s characterization is superior in developing a character that viewers can understand better.

Ultimately, the movie is superior to the book in the way it communicates the mood and characterization. The movie uses acting and music to express these ideas better than the book. Comparing two mediums to determine which is better is an example of choices one has to make in life. Humans are always being asked to pick aside. Whether it is choosing one brand over the other or using a certain product rather than another, one is faced with picking one thing over the other. There are pros and cons on both sides, and the issue is whether one can be convinced to choose aside. The ability to understand the benefits or disadvantages of one’s choices and then make a decision is a key ability for humans. It is how the world is run: by persuading people to make choices and convincing them why a certain side is better. From commercials urging others to buy their products or politicians persuading people to vote for them, choices are presented to us and we have to make the best decision based on which is better. Sometimes, distinguishing better from worse can be difficult, which is why being able to make such decisions is important for humans.      

Get quality help now


Verified writer

Proficient in: Literature

4.9 (2552 reviews)
“She was able to compose a 3-4 page essay in less than 24 hours and the results were fantastic !! Ty so much and I'll be using her again ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.