Of Mice And Men Archetypal Analysis

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Unit Two Essay Murderers can be heroes too. In John Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men” many of his characters are archetypes, including the outcasts. Three interesting pariahs have been deeply analyzed and compared to archetypal characters, settings, and objects. These characters are an unnamed woman labeled simply as “Curley’s wife,” a negro ranch worker named Crooks, and a “slow,” yet powerful “companion” called Lennie. The character, Curley’s Wife, is an archetype. The initial description of her on page 31 is that she talks “playfully,” her voice has a “nasal, brittle quality,” she “smiled archly and twisted her body,” and she is often associated with the color red. “Her fingernails were red,” and she wore “red mules,” which had “red ostrich…show more content…
He is first seen as a “huge man,” with a “shapeless face,” “large, pale eyes,” and “wide sloping shoulders” (page 2). On page 3 he is a “huge companion.” Lennie can be compared to the character archetype, hero. His past is very little known. The readers are only told that he was “born in Auburn,” raised by his Aunt Clara, and began working with George after his Aunt Clara died (page 40). He also dies like the hero typically does. After George shot him, “he lay without quivering” (page 106). The archetypal setting/situation Lennie best compares to is the fall. The hero, Lennie, descends after becoming corrupt and losing his childlike innocence. Once he killed the puppy (page 85), he started “falling,” and once he killed Curley’s wife (page 91), he was completely defiled. These incidents not only led to his fall, but also led to the end of his life and dream ranch (page 106). Gardens are archetypal settings which represent paradise and innocence, and essentially, Lennie. The “God-like,” omniscient figure, Slim, reiterates “he [Lennie] ain’t mean” to George (pages 41 and 42). Slim also says “he’s [Lennie] a nice fella” (page 40), and “he’s [Lennie] jes’ like a kid” (page 43). Lennie being compared to children and called nice by an all-knowing character can help the reader understand he is innocent in the beginning of the story. His “dream ranch” can also be compared to the paradise of the
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