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The Sources of Violence in Of Mice and Men Essay

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During the scenes of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, many acts of violence break out in the workforce of all the men. The men come into the workforce and experience many problems with the people there. They have to deal with people who think they are tough and people who are just cocky. In the book, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses horrific scenes to show that people commit acts of violence out of fear and anger.

John Steinbeck introduces violence with fear in Of Mice and Men.

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For example, when Curly attacks Lennie for misleading Lennie of laughing at him, Curly attacks Lennie, meanwhile Lennie is in fear and ends up breaking Curley’s hand. Lennie, after the fight, says, “I didn’t wanna, I didn’t wanna hurt him,” (64). He didn’t intend on fighting Curly, but his fear kicked in and made him defend himself. Curley’s way of attacking Lennie causes himself to get hurt. A conflict between Curley’s wife and Lennie also interprets fear with violence. After Curly’s wife screams, Lennie grabs ahold of her and pulls her by the hair, until he eventually kills her by breaking her neck. Lennie says to Curley’s wife, “‘Oh! Please don’t do any of that.’ He begged. ‘George gonna say I did a bad thing. He ain’t gonna let me tend no rabbits,’” (91). Lennie is scared that George is not going to let him tend the rabbits on their dreamland. It is Curley’s wife’s fault that Lennie becomes frightened and holds onto her. John Steinbeck uses fear as a major role of violence.

John Steinbeck also introduces anger as a main section of violence. An example of anger includes when Carlson complains about Candy’s dog, who reeks of stench and is old, took the poor dog out of its Missouri. While he is complaining about the dog, he says, “God almighty, that dog stinks. Get him outta here, Candy! I know nothing that stinks as bad as an old dog. You gotta get him out,” (44). He also says that the dog is miserable and should be taken care of, or killed, “Look, Candy. This ol’ dog jus’ suffers himself all the time. If you were to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head — right there, why he’d never know what hit him,” (45). Carlson is slightly enraged at Candy’s dog and wants it to leave. The dog being shot makes Candy upset, but he will soon get over it. Finally, the last example of anger is when Curly wants to chase down Lennie after he kills his wife. Curley says, “I know who done it… That big son-of-a-bitch did it. I know he did it. Why–ever’body else was out there playin’ horseshoes… I’m gonna get him. I’m going for my shotgun. I’ll kill the big son-of-a-bitch myself. I’ll shoot ‘im in the guts. Come on, you guys,” (96). Curly is exasperated and furious at the same time but wants to show mercy to Lennie for killing his wife. John Steinbeck uses anger as a huge part of the plot.

Violence has a huge effect on all of the main characters in Of Mice and Men. George, Lennie and all of the characters have to deal with such violence and it ruins everyone’s mind as it progresses. John Steinbeck uses violence as a way to describe how destructive it can be to everyone and how it affects people. Actions, like anger and fear, are examples of violence and shows corruption in total.

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