Elements Of Microcosm In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Microcosm “Man is a microcosm, or a little world, because he is an extract from all the stars and planets of the whole firmament, from the earth and the elements; and so he is their quintessence.” - Paracelsus, a philosopher and early physician. Just like mankind, objects can convey elements of a small world within them. Of Mice and Men, a novel by John Steinbeck, tells the story of two men, Lennie and George, that take up a job on a ranch in California. The people of the ranch come off as diverse, distinct figures, making up a small world inside that small space. The ranch can be considered a microcosm of American life in the 1930s, showing the way that blacks, women, and disabled people were treated at the time. In America throughout the 1930s, people of color had a hard time functioning in society. During the 1930s, Blacks were treated as a lower class than whites…show more content…
Candy, a worker on the ranch, lost his hand in a farm accident and is unable to do many forms of work at the ranch. He owned a dog that was old and unable to do much, until the dog was shot by Carlson to put it out of its misery. Candy exclaims, “I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t oughtta of let no stranger shoot my dog” (61). By him saying the word “stranger”, it shows importance of how distant he was from humans on the ranch, and closer to animals instead. Due to his decrepidness, he can not do much on the ranch, causing him not to be around the other men as much. In the 1930s, it was very common for disabled people to be treated as such. People did not care if you were the nicest person alive, if you could not work, then you are practically worthless in the eyes of the boss. Candy also says how “They’ll can me purty soon” (60), meaning that the boss, Slim, will fire Candy because he is practically worthless to Slim, showing the 1930s relationship between worker and
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