1. Gives a realistic depiction of the lives of ranch hands during the 1930s Depression.
•Living conditions: “The bunk house was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were small, square windows, and in the fourth, a solid door with a wooden latch. Against the walls were eight bunks, five of them made up with blankets and the other three showing their burlap ticking. Over each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for the personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk” narrator, pg. 19
•Pastimes: “He went back to the table and set out a new solitaire hand.” Narrator pg. 36 “Anybody like to play a little euchre?” George, pg. 53 “I’ll play out a few with you” Whit, pg. 53
2. Provides study for many types of literary techniques.
•The four types of sentence structure: “A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green,. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool. On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined white trees-willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leave junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool. 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.” Narrator, pg. 1
The Yellow Wall-paper - Journey into Madness In her short story "The Yellow Wall-paper", Charlotte Perkins Gilman consistently rejected conventional mental health "cures" that failed to deal with individual, typically female, needs in relation to the need for compassionate and supportive communities which, recognizes poor mental health as fundamentally a social, rather than biological, problem. ...
•Synecdoche: “The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied.” Narrator, pg. 117
3. Teaches valuable lessons of life.
•Search for approval can often lead to disappointment:
“’Feel right aroun’ there an’ see how soft it is.’
Lennie’s big fingers fell to stroking her hair.
‘Don’t you muss it up,’ she said.
…Lennie’s fighers closed on her hair and hung on.
…he shook her;and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck.” Narrator, pg. 99-100
•The [mentally] weak are often at the mercy of the strong: “Used to play jokes on ‘im ‘cause he was too dumb to take care of ‘imself.” George, pg. 44