A Comparison Of Power In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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“Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” This quotation, by author Edward Abbey, defines power as an incredibly controlling tool, which is a major theme in the novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This story takes place on a small ranch in California in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Lennie and George, the two protagonists, are migrant workers who have left their old job and are now working at a ranch. Lennie is a huge, strong man but has the brain of a toddler. George is small, wiry man, and is almost Lennie’s opposite. As George and Lennie begin the strenuous work at the ranch in hopes of achieving the American Dream, they interact with various characters who also have hopes and dreams. As the plot unfolds, the strengths and weaknesses of each character come to the forefront. Each character uses his or her power differently throughout this novella, but everyone uses it negatively to control or injure others.

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However, he has the brain of a toddler and is unable to differentiate right from wrong. He also finds satisfaction in touching soft objects, such as animal fur and velvet. George has no physical power due to his scrawny frame, but he has intellectual power and can look out for Lennie. For example, at his last job, Lennie tried to touch the velvet skirt of a young lady who thought she was being attacked and screamed for help. To avoid getting in trouble, George, playing his role as Lennie’s caretaker, grabbed Lennie and they ran as far away as they could and found a new job. George had promised Lennie’s aunt that he would always take care of him because Lennie was as ignorant as a small child. George is much smaller and scrawnier than Lennie and these two characters are completely opposites but always stick together no matter what. Lennie’s strength and George’s intelligence complement each
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