After the Great Depression in 1929, America’s economy was devastated. The increase of farming across the Great Plains states caused the precious soil to erode, turning the once fertile grassland to a desert like Dust Bowl. Hundreds of farmers and workers migrated to California in search of jobs aiming for the American Dream. The American Dream is the hopes and the goals of the characters in which they can obtain a better life through their hard work. In Of Mice and Men, the American Dream is portrayed to be extremely vital for the men as it serves as their motivation, yet ultimately proves to be unattainable through the memorable characters of Lennie, George and Curley’s wife.
Symbolism is used in literature pieces to add dimension and depth to the story that is being told. The symbols that are used are usually subtle and discreet but are mentioned or talked about quite often. This is because in literature if something is mentioned more than once then it will most likely hold a greater significance than it may lead on. The author John Steinbeck uses many symbols in the story Of Mice and Men to add a better understanding on why some characters act the way they do. The way he adds symbolism to this story is through the animals that live with the characters or are talked about frequently. Three of which are Candy’s dog, Lennie’s puppy and the rabbits that are often mentioned by Lennie. These three symbols all have a deeper meaning to the story than they perceive to have. John Steinbeck uses Candy’s dog, Lennie’s
"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to." (62)
Someone once said, “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” The character known as Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men is portrayed in John Steinbeck’s writing as an antagonist. Multiple time throughout the book she is insulted by the men, who call her things such as a tramp, or a tart. As the story continues, there are many hidden indications that she could be seen as a much simpler, innocent presence, rather than an evil. When looked at more in depth, Curley’s Wife can be seen as a victimized character.
Being forced to kill someone would be really emotional, but imagine if that person was your best
Of Mice and Men provides us with plenty examples of dehumanization that guide us to conclusions, or insights or feelings of dehumanization. Some examples of this is the dehumanization of Lennie, Crooks and Curley’s wife. Of Mice and Men perfects the traits of dehumanization of Lennie by relating him to a number of animals like the horse. Steinbeck dehumanizes Lennie by comparing him to a horse when George says, “His huge companionship dropped his baskets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse” (Steinbeck, 2). Furthermore, Steinbeck helps us, by dehumanizing Crooks, living in a barn, to animals, to visualize how poorly Crooks is treated. To prove this, Crook says, “ ‘Cause I’m black.
We all may have had the feeling of loneliness and isolation, wanting companionship feeling abandonment. In John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, there are men living on a ranch having their own reasons for loneliness or being isolated. The three characters Crooks, George, and Lennie crusade dealing with own ways of loneliness and isolation. Crooks has no one that likes him because he’s black, Lennie struggles mentally and George struggles with always having to care for him. They all can’t decide whether it is that they want to be alone or not. Steinbeck displays through the dialogue and characterizations that these characters experience isolation because of both social barriers and personal choice.
John Steinbeck's novella 'Of Mice and Men' contains various important themes. One of the significant themes of this novella is hope, friendship and loneliness, determination that empowers a man to endeavour with a feeling of self-esteem.
While Crooks, a victim of racial prejudice, expresses his isolation openly, he also socializes with other workers on the job and while playing horseshoes with them. Curley’s wife, on the other hand, cannot talk to anyone without suffering the consequences of a jealous husband: “ I get so lonely,’ she said. “you can talk to people , but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?” (87) More specifically, the other men on the ranch refuse to talk to her because Curley’s position of power on the ranch portrays him as having the ability to have any man on the ranch lose their job. Furthermore, when Curley’s wife was conversing with Lennie in the barn and confided in him, she said: “Well, I ain’t
She’s regretting her decision on marrying Curley, and wishes her life would’ve went as planned. The novel illustrates an image of Candy’s sense of loneliness, and how friendship is only achieved by conversation.
In Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men the main theme is Loneliness and Isolation. Steinbeck really creates an image in your head of the life of the migrated ranch men. He hides the fact the characters are isolated in the language he uses. The town that the ranch is close to is called “Soledad” which means loneliness in spanish. In latin “Solitaire” (the card game the men play) means alone and isolated. Some of the characters in the book have been described as more isolated and lonely than the other character, with the ones in particular ; Crooks, Candy and Curley’s Wife. Crooks is lonely because he is black and has a crooked back which is physically isolating him, Candy is lonely because he is old and only has one hand, Curley’s Wife is lonely because she is the only woman on the ranch. All the people living on the ranch are lonely to some extent. This is proven when Steinbeck describes the bunkhouse where all the workers sleep. "Over each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk." (p38) The way Steinbeck describes the bunkhouse indicates their lonely lives. Also by only having two shelves for their personal belongings shows their lonely insecure lives. Crooks has a better facility than any of the other ranch workers since he has a desk. Crooks does not appreciate this because he is alone and isolated from the rest, like Curley’s wife and in some way Candy.
Desmond Tutu, a South - African social activist and retired Anglican priest once said “ Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”. Of Mice and Men is a novel which revolves around the lives of struggling farmers and how they still maintain hope despite their hardships. The symbolic representation of light embodies the hopes and the American Dream, whereas the dark epitomizes the harsh realities and truths of their lives. Steinbeck uses light and dark to foreshadow the upcoming events in the forlorn lives of the migrant workers. He also combines aspects such as the setting and characters with light and dark to paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind as to how the world of the migrant workers looks like.
In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the era of the Great Depression in the 1930’s is revealed through a simple story of ranch workers who hope to improve their lives. Migrant workers, George and Lennie, have a friendship that is based on trust and protection. The other workers lack the companionship and bond that these two men have. In the novel, the absence and presence of friendship is the motivation for the characters’ actions.
In the book, we notice Curley isolates her and she is not allowed to talk to anyone especially the workers. He runs around looking for her making a big show of caring about her but still goes to the local tramp house with the workers. He also fights with any worker who tries to talk to her except for Slim, because either he is scared of him or respects him. He does tries to pick a fight with Lennie and fails