Examples Of Microcosm In Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Men: The Microcosm of American Society In his novella, “Of Mice and Men” (1937), John Steinbeck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner, illustrates a microcosm of society on an isolated ranch in the south of Soledad, California to represent the inevitable, harsh outcome for disadvantaged Americans. Steinbeck’s story, based on naturalism and regionalism, is centered on two close friends, Lennie and George, who travel and work together in the lonely life of migrant laborers, which is driven by their “American dream” of having their own ranch. George and Lennie portray those who are marginalized in society based on their social class. Steinbeck creates this microcosm of society, in order to represent disadvantaged Americans who are …show more content…

George and Lennie have a dream of getting enough money and then buying their own ranch, where they could “live off the fatta land” (Steinbeck 14). This imagined future is part of George and Lennie’s American dream, which is a cultural idea so basic that even Lennie, who has the mind of a child, can grasp its importance (“The American dream in Of Mice and Men”). George has organized a straight path so both the men can fulfill their dream, in which they save their money and try to avoid conflict. George avoids peer pressure to have fun in town and spend money, so he can reach his dream and be able to afford a ranch; when some of the ranch workers go into town, George says “Me an’ Lennie rollin’ up stake. I might go in an’ set and have a shot, but I ain’t puttin’ out no two and a half,” (Steinbeck 53). George also tries to avoid conflict at the ranch by avoiding Curley and his wife, who could easily fire him and take away his dream of owning a ranch with Lennie. When George and Lennie were discussing their dream, Candy, an old, crippled worker, listens and right away wants to be …show more content…

The story takes place in Soledad, which means solitude in Spanish, implying that people here undergo both physical and psychological loneliness (“Isolation in Of Mice and Men”). The migrant laborers are frequently travelling from one job to the next at isolated ranches, not being able to have a family or have a feeling of belonging. These migrant workers are marginalized in society due to their social standing, in which they are controlled by their boss and grow crops for him for very little in return and then are sent off packing to try to find a new job. Crooks is also marginalized because he is African-American, so he is viewed lower than everyone else, even though he is one of the most intelligent and hard working workers on the ranch. Crooks is isolated with his own separate room in the barn and is often on the wrong end of his boss’s anger, in which he gets whipped. Crooks is lonely, separated and viewed lower than everyone else, creating an isolation from all the other ranch workers, in fear of inadvertently breaking society’s rigid taboos (“Freedom in Of Mice and Men”). Candy is also marginalized because he is older than the rest of the workers and crippled, since he lost his hand working on the ranch. Candy is isolated from the rest of the workers because he is not able to do what they can do, so he is stuck with cleaning the bunkhouse and

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