Essay, Pages 5 (1011 words)
What do we find out about Steinbeck’s views of human nature from checking out ‘of mice and men’?
Steinbeck, like numerous others thinks that everyone, consisting of those who do not deserve it, needs affection and attention. This reveals us that Steinbeck sees human beings as social beings, in the book he specifies this as ‘individuals go bananas if they are alone and have no contact with others’. 2 characters from ‘of mice and males’ that are examples of this are: Scoundrels and Curley’s better half.
Scoundrels is alienated and marginalised since he is coloured and is a cripple, Curley’s spouse is alienated and marginalised since she is a female. In ‘of mice and guys’ there are 3 main styles that we can use to analyse Steinbeck’s views: Solitude, hopes and dreams, and violence.
Steinbeck shows that a few of the characters are marginalised and alienated by the other cattle ranch hands because they are different to themselves. For instance Curley’s spouse and Crooks.
Curley’s partner is lonesome due to the fact that she is a woman, throughout the age that the book was written women were dealt with as mere sexual items, the only contact men had with ladies was completely sexual and took place at ‘whore houses’. The other primary reason is since Curley attempted to confide her to there martial house, ‘Believe I don’t like to speak with somebody ever’ every so often? Think I like to stick in that house alla time’.
The males of the ranch are explained to have mainly misogynistic attitudes towards females, she is marginalised by the ranch hands since of this.
The males do not speak to her – when they do it is typically a sexist remark such as: ‘jailbait’, ‘bitch’, ‘tramp’, ‘rat – trap’, ‘loo-loo’ (Sweet’s deceased pet dog) and many others. The men avoid her since they believe that she is going to cause trouble, and get them associated with this difficulty. A quote offered by Lennie ‘George says I can’t have absolutely nothing to do with you – talk to you or nothing’ describes to us, that George is fretted that Lennie will enter trouble with Curley again, triggering more difficulty for the both of them. She responds to all of these issues by dressing and acting in a flirtatious manner, which spurs the men on even more to make sexist comments.
Crooks is lonely because he is coloured and a cripple, during the age that the book was written, again the attitude was different to coloured people, Martin Luther King had only just made his ‘I have a dream’ speech which had officially ended the age of slavery. Crooks was confided to his own room, which made him even more lonely and spiteful. The men marginalise Crooks by calling him derogatory names like ‘nigger’ and other racist comments and not letting him into the bunkhouse too play cards. A quote given by Crooks ‘they play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all stink to me’. This shows how Crooks reacts to these comments, he gets defensive and becomes spiteful, yet in the company of Curley’s wife (after she launches an attack on him) he becomes very quiet and curls himself into a ball. We could say that Lennie is lonely but he has George and is only Lonely in his head.
Steinbeck describes that people have hopes and dreams. I feel that people have these hopes and dreams because there is something that is missing from their lives and they need these dreams to feel complete in themselves. There are four characters who share two separate dreams, the first dream is shared between three of the men – George, Lennie and Candy – is too own there own ranch and ‘live of the fatta the land’. This was originally just George and Lennie’s dream, at this point George never believed that this would happen, yet the more he told Lennie what is would be like the more he thought that it could happen.
Lennie on the other hand believed with all of his heart that this would happen. After Candy joined in the dream it seamed like more and more of a reality. All dreams represent something and this follows the pattern, the dream represents security, companionship, and independence. In the dream the men would be a family, which is what all of the ranch workers really want. The other person on the ranch who has a dream is Curley’s wife, she wants to become an Hollywood actress, she like Lennie believes truly that this could happen, and wants it with all of her heart as it would take her away from Curley. Her dream represents the human need for affection and for people to love her and to see her again an again.
‘Of mice and men’ is based on the theme of outsiders i.e. Lennie, Crooks, and Curley’s wife. I think that from reading ‘of Mice and Men’ Steinbeck shows sympathy to some characters yet not to others. He shows this to us in the form of George who is constantly forgiving and sympathetic to Lennie because he knows, that he can’t help being like he is, Slim who sits down and talks to George, and Lennie who gets to know Crooks. Yet in characters such as Curley, Curley’s wife and Carlson, they don’t know Lennie or Crooks and don’t want to.
So they judge him in a spiteful, uncaring and unfair ways, an example of this is the last line of the book where Carlson says ‘ now what the hell ya think is eatin’ them two guys?’ after George has just killed his best friend. I know that if I had just done that I would need a shoulder to cry on. Steinbeck shows us that some of the characters – Crooks and Curley’s wife – were victims of their age by making Crooks suffer from racism and Curley’s wife suffer from sexism both of which occur but less often.