Explain what community is-group of likeminded/brought together people. Group or society, helping each other. Introduction- talk about various methods/techniques Steinbeck uses to portray community in 1930s America. -structure; animal imagery; symbolism
-Steinbeck’s use of language reinforces his depiction of community The novel starts with an idyllic, natural scene. This creates a sense of peacefulness and calm. However, this scene is disrupted by George and Lennie’s arrival. Key parts through the story:
When G +L come down the path to the clearing, G is leading the way and L is following him. (This shows that in 1930s American community, there were those at the top of the hierarchy that ultimately controlled those at the lower end of the hierarchy. G+L are on their way to the nearby ranch, but the bus driver dropped them of 4 miles away. This is significant as it is the first sign that they never end up where they want to be. (Also shows community was selfish, as the driver dropped them of 4 miles away)
The boss is suspicious of G. He has never seen “one guy take so much trouble for another guy” he’s not used to kindness or decency. (Shows lack of community, as G’s kindness for lennie seems suspicious towards the boss) When G tells Curley that he and L are travelling together, Curley says “oh, so it’s that way”-he doesn’t think it’s normal for two men to travel together. Carlson tries to start a fight with Curley, calling him “yella as a frog belly”-Candy joins in too. Fighting seems to bring the men together. (Shows community follows the ‘use and abuse’ system. Shows that to an extent, there is a sense of community in the form of support. After L and Curley’s fight scene, slim takes control of the situation and persuades Curley to say his hand was crushed in a machine. (Shows the community coming together to support one another.)
The chapter set in crooks’ room highlights one of the key themes-prejudice. Crook’s room is completely separate from the bunkhouse. He is kept away from white men. He is segregated from the other ranchers. He isn’t welcome in the bunk house- “they say I stink” as a result, crooks won’t welcome the other ranchers into his room. (shows community was racist and prejudiced) Over his bed, crooks has lots of medicine bottles, “both for himself and for the horses”. Crooks doesn’t keep the bottles separate as he doesn’t see himself as different form the animals. His room is just off the barn-lives right next to the horses.” Horses are a symbol that crooks is treated like an animal on the ranch. (shows racist, inhumane, brutal community.) Steinbeck shows that the community revolves around power most times. Whoever is at the top, or near the top of the hierarchy has the most power
Despite the unhappy working environment, to an extent, there is a level of support. The ranch workers live/cope with each other.