Minor Characters In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The significance and role of minor characters in ‘Of Mice and Men’ ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a short novel written by John Steinbeck. It is published in 1937, when the American society was still recovering from the Great Depression and the American Dream had been broken. The American Dream is all about the hope of a better life through hard work with few barriers. Through the minor characters, Steinbeck foreshadows the unevitable tragic ending of the book, and depicts the fall of the American Dream, with widespread discrimination, a lack of hope and low social mobility in the post-depression American society. First, the minor characters are used to foreshadow the events of the story. Candy’s dog is old, stinks and is “all stiff with rheumatism”; basically he is portrayed as a weak, powerless character. When Carlson offers to shoot the dog, he says “this ol’ dog jus’ suffers hisself all the time...you ain’t bein kind to him keepin’ him alive.” He perceives himself as killing the dog to end its suffering. Candy’s dog’s death makes the readers anticipate for future mercy killings of disempowered characters, which is Lennie’s death in this case. The deliberate use of foreshadowing can be further proved by the striking similarities between the two deaths. When talking about shooting the dog, Carlson says “he wouldn’t feel nothing...right back of the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.” This resembles the way Lennie is shot, with George telling him about the dream, consoling him and
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