Analysis Of Callousness In John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice And Men'

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Catherine McQueen Bagdanov AAPLE English 22 October 2015 Of Mice and Men Essay Callousness, defined as having or showing an insensitive and cruel disregard for others, is a trait that many characters in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men display. As a result of a desperate search for power, many are left to bathe in their newfound callousness; few can escape this fate. In the novella, one must note Carlson’s powerful lack of concern for others; Curley’s tendency to harden his emotions; and Lennie’s naive persona that is hardly callous. Carlson clearly displays to readers that he has the most calloused personality on the farm. Similar to the way a hand gets worn over time, time has worn down his once sweet personality and turned it hard. While insisting that he should kill…show more content…
This, unfortunately, has resulted in a permanent deterioration of his sweeter, more naive side. One way that Curley expresses his callousness is through his constant cruelty towards others. After getting annoyed at Lennie, he says, “‘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’” (62). By saying this, Curley is disregarding Lennie’s unwillingness to fight; thus, clearly demonstrating his harshness. Furthermore, Lennie did very little to encourage Curley’s desire to fight, yet Curley still got worked up and heinous; this shows that he has learned from previous rough times to start a fight quickly, as to avoid a drawn-out argument. Although, given his surroundings on the farm, it is understandable as to why his personality calloused as it did. He not only struggles to keep watch over his promiscuous wife, but he is also an outsider to all of the workers; his desperation for power comes from these hardships, as he needs an outlet from his pent up pain. Ultimately, this search for power has resulted in a harsh and brutal
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