How Does Steinbeck Present George's Motives In Of Mice And Men

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Observation of one's actions is a reliable way to study the inner workings of a mind. A deconstruction of John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men, specifically the protagonist George, will illustrate Steinbeck's use of characterization and symbolism in order to reveal George's motives. In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck contends that moral dilemmas can be solved with an individual's acquired strengths and weaknesses, ultimately revealing their true nature. Having obligations to those around them, the tragic hero becomes a savior to those that need it while enduring moral and physical conflicts. Through trying times, conflict tends to unveil unsolicited grievances in today's society, contrasting the behavior of those in the 1900s, and is presented …show more content…

Throughout the novella, Steinbeck writes that George and Lennie cannot sustain a job because of Lennie's impulses. Although George does his best to control Lennie's impulses, he cannot always supervise him to do so. He is lenient when Lennie goes to the barn and pets the puppies, but that decision is proven harmful. In "Harvest Gypsies," Steinbeck claims that lower-class people, specifically migrant workers, are treated like dirt because of their social status and physical appearance. Similarly, in Of Mice and Men, George, a migrant worker, travels with Lennie to find work, only to be mistreated by those with a higher social status. Curley uses his higher authority as the boss's son to attempt to dominate and mistreat the farmhands, eventually catching up with him. George encourages Lennie to "get 'im [Curley]" (Steinbeck 63) in defense, putting him in his place and simultaneously breaking his hand. George's reaction to these circumstances demonstrates his ability to effectively work through trying times and do his best to care for Lennie. Like George and Lennie, migrant workers receive the short end of the stick and take advantage of opportunities to benefit themselves. Today, women earn about 15% less than men, and the income inequality between the rich and poor is increasing. This dynamic and inequity is a continuous unbroken cycle shown throughout …show more content…

As previously mentioned, the portrayal of George is through his strengths, but as Steinbeck sinks deeper into the story, his flaws start to appear, leading to the climax. Steinbeck begins every chapter with descriptive and vivid diction to set the scene, one that will become blemished by the contrast of the continued story. One could compare George to a mouse, just as the title of the novella, Of Mice and Men. A mouse, compared to Man, retains innocence, just as George is at the novella's beginning. He notices Lennie is not improving because of his continuous errors, causing them to flee and find another job. After hearing of Lennie killing Curley's wife, he decides that will be the last time he will run from a problem created by Lennie. Furthermore, George has lost his innocence, becomes a man from the mouse, and looks deeper into the descriptive, vivid scene to see the underlying forces that result in his final decision. Like George, life is a continuity of change; it is inevitable. Those who do not change will not survive, as shown throughout history and literature. Ultimately, it comes down to Charles Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest," the constant adaptation to an environment to sustain life. George has demonstrated this throughout the novella, but primarily at the end as he murders

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