The significance of anger in Of Mice and Men Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 18 July 2016

The significance of anger in Of Mice and Men

In Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, anger is a frequent occurrence. Anger is either arouse by anxiety, trepidation or jealousy. Anger seems to always revolve around Lennie, as he is the source of anger, whether it is towards him, because of him, or from him. The first character to show anger is Lennie’s partner, George. We see very early in the novel that anger is shown towards Lennie. George is angry that in reality he doesn’t have what Lennie asks for, but due to Lennie’s innocence they are suppose to have it.

Georges tells Lennie, “Well we ain’t got no ketchup! ” George’s anger is clearly shown through frustration: “Whatever the hell. This suggest he preferred Lennie wasn’t around him: “I could get my 50 bucks at the end of the month and go sit on in a cat house and enjoy myself, but no, I’m stuck with you”. This suggests that George it saying Lennie is a great encumbrance to him, because of Lennie he can’t do want he wants, thus he is suppose to obtain things Lennie wants alternatively; like a parent who would do for their child or the owner and its pet.

The cause for anger George at Lennie is the frustration of unable to get the things he would like as a change. Also, this shows us that during the time period of this book, in the 1930s, there were a lot of people like George, struggling or can’t get the things they want even if it is just a little. It shows us that the word is cruel and unfair which anger is the cause of it. Another character that portrays anger is Curly. He is presented as a mean person who wants authority on the ranch.

Despite that the fact this makes Curley a more hated character, Steinbeck clearly states that Curley to the readers that he was mean due to loneliness which was typical of men on the ranch in the 1930s. Curley wanted authority on the ranch, our first encounter of him he was described as closing his hands “into fists” and stiffening his back “into a slight crouch” after looking at Lennie. This shows he wanted authority over Lennie leads to his anger throughout the novel. Curley seeks to compensate for his small stature by picking fights with larger men, proving himself that he is a big man in all but size.

Lennie always shows a soft side of himself so Curley assumes he is an easy target, using this as an opportunity to beat him, the biggest guy on the ranch. So, he would have become more intimdating to other people on the ranch: “What the hell you laughin’ at?… Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son of a bitch is gonna laugh at me. I’ll show ya who’s yella. ”. Hence, Curley is always picking fights with Lennie as he is always mad whenever he sees Lennie as he is always comparing himself to Lennie and unable to prove himself that he is the strongest on the ranch.

In conclusion, anger has a great impact on the novel as it portrays the feelings of the character within themselves, whether is be all the time or unexpectedly of being frustrated, annoyed or scared. Anger in the book also reflects upon the people during the Great Drepression or the American Dream, unable to fulfill their dreams how much they tried or injustice. Not just back in the 1930s, even our society today is filled with anger from unfairness or people’s dreams.

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  • University/College: University of California

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  • Date: 18 July 2016

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