Refer closely to the novel in your answer.
I felt some sympathy for Curley’s wife as she was the loneliest of them all. She had a husband who didn’t love or respect her as he went to brothels. As well as Curley’s wife I pitied Slim. He has a lot of responsibility and calms everything down in a tense situation. He was the only person who knew that George shot Lennie after the death of Curley’s wife, which shows the amount of responsibility that is on his shoulders.
I have some for Crooks as he is at a disadvantage as he is black so will have a lot of prejudice towards him. He is not allowed in the bunkhouse and so he would be very lonely. He also has the disability of having a crooked back.
In the end I felt pity for Candy as the prospect of owning a farm is shattered. He could have lived the rest of his years in relative comfort.
Steinbeck uses effective pathos after the death of Curley’s wife.
‘ His eyes blinded with tears and he turned and
Went weakly out of the barn’
Now that he knows the dream is over he has nothing to look ahead to which is saddening. Because of his age he won’t be able to get a job. You also pity him because of his disability, which won’t help him find a job.
‘I wont have no place to go, an’ I
can’t get no more jobs.’
Also when Carlson shot his dog to put it out of his misery I felt some sympathy. He had the dog for along time and had grown attached to it. Without his dog he would be lonely .This theme of loneliness runs throughtout the book. He then shows regret that someone other than himself shot his dog. ‘I shouldn’t ought to have let no stranger shoot my dog.’
I have sympathy for Lennie as when he had killed Curley’s wife he had ruined the dream for everyone. He would have felt bad about this and the fact that he wouldn’t be able to tend the rabbits which was one of his fears. The other being Ggeorge leaving him, which would mean that he would be lonely. His fear run’s loose as he listens to a talking rabbit:
think George, gonna let you tend the rabbit, your even
Lennie always has George telling him what to do because he keeps on doing stupid things. In a way Lennie should be pleased about someone keeping a lookout for him but because Lennie is so slow he is upset by it and sometimes Lennie loses his temper.
I felt sorry for him most when Curley started a fight with.
‘Lennie’s hands remained at his side; he
was too frightened to defend himself.
This is because people usually feel sorry for things that are defenceless. But even after Curley had repeatedly punched him Lennie still shows remorse for breaking his hand, which shows he is a ‘nice fella’ . A guy who you wouldn’t want something like this to happen to. ‘I didn’t wanta hurt him.’
The reason I don’t feel sorry for Lennie is because he has a companion like George to look after him and because he is so stupid he doesn’t realise what how poor his lifestyle is.
‘But he was too dumb even to know he had a
joke played on him’
I feel sympathy for George as he is lumbered with Lennie. ‘Lennie for god’s sake don’t drink so much.’ It’s as if George is looking after Lennie like they have a parent/child relationship. A similar thing occurs when George threw away the dead mouse Lennie kept in his pocket
I feel pity for George as he has a lot of pent up aggression as he uses phrases like ‘son of a bitch’ and ‘crazy bastard’. This is probably caused by the situation he is in. He has no security and his only companion is Lennie who is always getting into trouble. I feel empathy for George, as he is so lonely. This is the same with all the other characters.
‘Guys like us that work on ranches are
the loneliest guys in the world’.
The only way George can escape this position is through his and Lennies’s dream, of owning a farm. George and Lennie ‘aint got nothing to look ahead to’ but the dream sets them a goal. Then George has to do a horrible thing by killing his only friend. He didn’t even seem to think about other alternatives but he saved Lennie from being tortured. Steinbeck builds this up from when Candy’s dog was shot to save it from the pain of living up until George saving Lennie from the pain of being tortured
The reason I don’t feel sorry for George is that he has a companion like Lennie. Someone he can trust. If Lennie was in the same position he wouldn’t survive like George, as he doesn’t have the brain. So George can be thankful that it wasn’t vice versa.
‘Lennie who had been watching
imitated George exactly’
This shows that Lennie adores George and is a kind of role model. It also shows that Lennie likes him so he won’t double cross him. He is too stupid to do that anyway.
I have little empathy to with Curley, as he is lonelier than ever without his wife. He is always getting into fights, which could mean that he is looking for attention. I have sympathy for is the Boss, as he owns the place. He is most probably rich and has a lot of luxuries compared to the workers .I do have some empathy towards the boss .He also has a lot of responsibility as he has to run the ranch and has a son like Curley who is always causing trouble.
Through this book Steinbeck tried to portray what the poor people felt at the time. It shows us that the ‘American’ dream doesn’t always come true and that the battle between the ‘good guy’ and the ‘bad guy’ doesn’t always go in the ‘good guy’s’ favour.