How is tension created in the fight scene?
The writer of ‘Mice and Men’ creates tension in the scene in which Lennie and Curley fight by using multiple techniques that fit in the text and achieve at creating tension to the reader. Tension makes the reader want to read more and it makes the text more enjoyable to him.
The writer uses simile to show that Curley was aggressive, by comparing him to a terrier, a small violent dog. More similes are used when the fight starts. The writer instead of using the word hands for Lennie’s hands, he prefers using ‘paws’ and by adding the adjective ‘huge’ in front of it, we can imagine that he is like a bear. After that, Slim calls Curley a ‘dirty little rat’ and by saying this, Curley’s small size is emphasized. Furthermore, when Lennie grabs Curley’s fist and smashes it, the writer uses simile, when writing that he ‘was flopping like a fish on a line’. Here the one that is helpless is Curley who is suffering, but even so Lennie is still hopeless as shown from the repetition of Lennie’s helplessness. The reader can imagine 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, once again.
By using the metaphoric expression ‘Curley’s rage exploded’ the reader can understand that his anger was like a bomb and it exploded violently. There is a 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. Onomatopoeia is used, when Curley is attacking Lennie, in the phrase ‘then smashed down his nose with a right’ and this, in par with the violent imagery of the next sentences make the reader think about the scene and what is going on in the fight.
In the whole of the fighting scene, plenty of dynamic verbs are used, like ‘yelled’, ‘slashed’ and ‘jumped’. Those.