Of Mice and Men Essay
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a touching tale of the friendship between two men–set against the backdrop of the United States during the depression of the 1930s. Subtle in its characterization, the book addresses the real hopes and dreams of working-class America. Steinbeck’s short novel raises the lives of the poor and dispossessed to a higher, symbolic level. Its powerful ending is climactic and shocking to the extreme. But, we also come to an understanding of the tragedy of life. Regardless of the sufferings of those who live it, life goes on. 9 out of 10
Content and explanation of why you chose this text or your AOS The novel focuses on two protagonists, Lenny and George. They are running away from a ranch because Lenny being simple minded cannot comprehend things gets into trouble. Lenny is very big, dopey and gentle but on the other hand George is tiny, smart and is the leader. They start from scratch and search for more work. They get to another ranch and start their new jobs. They start saving and try keeping out of trouble. Lenny on the other hand being the simple minded one is always found to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Lennie does something terrible and the men from the ranch blow up and go after him. George being his best and only friend has to shoot him. This was the only way George could keep Lennie safe from all means of danger. I chose this text because it shows different types of changing perspective. This is shown through the protagonist George and his partner Lennie. Lennie is an unordinary character who is described as a grown man with a childish mind. George on the other hand knows how to interact and show all means of how to be normal. George through the novel realises that Lennie just doesn’t fit in.
He always touching and feeling things. This gets him in trouble more than once. At the start of the play George treats him like his mother, by showing that he takes care of him. Through the movie Lennie gets aggressive and George steps in acting as the father and stops Lennie. By the end of the George is recognised as Lennie’s master and ends his life, for he’s understands from the beginning to the end, that the only way to look after Lennie was to kill him. The only way to protect Lennie was to end his life and it was also appointed to George to do it.
Analysis of Textual features: ‘Of mice and men’ changing perspectives through his protagonist George has with Lennie. He does this through the techniques of characterisation, imagery and diction. Steinbeck demonstrates characterisation through the protagonist George. He demonstrates this through his relationship with Lennie. “Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes. “Aw, Lennie! ” George put his hand on Lennie’s shoulder. “I aint it away just for meanness. ” This shows that George still treats Lennie like his mother.
In the middle of novel Lennie starts to get violent, “George slapped him in the face again and again, and still Lennie held on to the closed fist. ” This is showing that George has to use violence to Lennie in order for him to stop. At this time George is acting as if he is the father of Lennie. By the end George relationship between Lennie has completely changed, “ And George raised the gun and steadied it and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his ace set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. This demonstrates a huge change in relation with George and Lennie. This shows that George had completely changed his view on Lenny and it viewed Lennie as being Georges master when ending his life. Steinbeck uses Imagery to show the relation between George and Lennie. An example would be when George is ending Lennie’s life, “and George raised the gun and steadied it he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his ace set and his harm steadied. He pulled the trigger; the crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again.
Lennie Jarred, and settle slowly forward to the and laid without quivering. ” This shows a lot of description on how George ended Lennie. Steinbeck shows diction through Lennie and George “Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes. “Aw, Lennie! ” George put his hand on Lennie’s shoulder. “I aint it away just for meanness. ” This is demonstrating that Lennie is still treated like a child or baby even though they don’t use those words. They use imagery to describe that he is a child even though he is a full grown man. What the text conveys about the Area of study:
For change to be of any efficacy (effectiveness/worthwhile), it must be made without compulsion and accepted without resistance. This demonstrates that George is forced to change his perspective of Lennie because Lennie is unable to change himself to fit into society – therefore George’s change is negative because he was forced to act against his better judgment. In the introduction George and Lennie were on the run because Lennie had harassed a woman by feeling her dress. George sticks with Lennie even though he says, “you keep me in hot water all the time. George still shows kindness and feels for him. In the middle of the novel Lennie gets into trouble again but instead of George being kind and gentle, George starts getting aggressive towards Lennie. Towards the end of the novel Lennie breaks the neck of Curly’s wife and the whole ranch blows up. George understands that he cannot keep running with Lennie because he realises that this will always happen – he will always be “in hot water”. Instead of George running away from the mob with Lennie and always being by his side, he looks towards the future and realises that this has stop.
This time instead of running away with Lennie (like at the start) he performs an act of ‘mercy’, to both Lennie and himself, by shooting him. George was forced to change even though he didn’t want to and therefore it was a negative outcome. George and lennie are parallel with candy and his dog. Candy and his dog are symbolic to George and Lennie because candy demonstrates how long they’ve been together. An example, “I been around him so much I never notice how much he stinks. ” This can be an example of George and Lennie. George has been with Lennie for that long he has hasn’t realised that Lennie is simple minded and is socially unaccepted.
This also symbolic to George and lennie, “Look, Candy. This ol’ dog jus’ suffers himself, all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head—” he leaned over and pointed, “—right there, why he’d never know what hit him. ” This demonstrates that the old dog needs to be put down because its just too old and sick. This is symbolic to Lennie because it shows that he is too simple minded and that he isn’t socially accepted. Finishing, Curley tells George, “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog. This shows that Curley should of shot his dog.
Has been with it for years and it was his responsibility. This is symbolic to George because he has been with Lennie for years and he understands that he has to finish him off. In conclusion, change must be made without compulsion and accepted without resistance. This shows that George needed to change if there was ever going to be a time where he wasn’t about keeping out of trouble or running from ranch to ranch. If he had not realised this his life would be continue to repeat itself. He would be going ranch to ranch.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 7 October 2016
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