Role Of Motivation In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Somebody to Lean on According to Sarah Carol of Boston University, during the Great Depression, the top 1% of Americans owned over 40% of the country's wealth, creating a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. Since the rich owned such a vast percentage of America’s total wealth, they possessed immense power. But unfortunately, as a result of this, about 60% of the country held extremely little influence or leverage. Many of these underprivileged families needed someone to provide them with the power and motivation required to stay hopeful. John Steinbeck portrays how some found the necessary motivation in their friends and family, whereas the Great Depression ruined others, who did not possess the necessary support. In Of Mice…show more content…
For example, as George explains a life without Lennie, “‘...I could live so easily...I could take my fifty bucks [at the end of each month] and go into town and get whatever I want’… ‘[But] I want you to stay with me Lennie’” he never mentions anything about saving his money to become a landowner like Lennie and he dream of doing (Steinbeck OMM 11). Although George bottles up his frustration towards Lennie, he draws from this anger to redouble his kindness and drive. Want implies a need so when George says “I want you to stay with me Lennie” he truly means he needs Lennie to stay with him because George realizes he heavily relies on the company of Lennie. Lennie provides further motivation because George knows that Lennie deserves to live on a nice farm where, “‘Ever’body gonna be nice to you [Lennie]. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble,’” (OMM 106). George yearns for a worry free life not for himself but for Lennie, showing all the power for his hard work comes from his caringness for his best friend. By placing Lennie above himself and feeling the need to compensate for him, it gives George the necessary motivation to put in double the work to save and earn money. Moreover, when George shoots Lennie in the woods, “his face set and his hand steadied,” and it drains all the emotion and joy out…show more content…
For example, Jim Casy listens to Tom Joad and asks his opinions, “‘But I ain’t preachin’. Preachin’ is tellin’ folks stuff. I'm askin’ ‘em’” despite that at this point Tom does not hold a strong enough voice to speak out against any injustices (Steinbeck GOW 97). This listening empowers Tom Joad to later listen to the cry of the poor the same way Jim Casy once did for him. Tom draws from his relationship with Jim Casy and uses it as a flashlight to guide the path towards speaking out against injustice. In addition, “‘Two are better than one...if two lie together then they have heat,” as Ma Joad holds Tom and the rest of the family together, she builds a family, who channel each other's support for power (GOW 570). The Joad’s realization that “‘two are better than one” leads them to survive the seemingly impossible hardships of poverty and unemployment, and it also instills socialistic beliefs in all of them. Tom Joad demonstrates his fierce unwillingness to desert the family unless it's for their own good, and he uses this unrelenting belief to show solidarity with the poor in his shift “from ‘I’ to ‘we’” (GOW 206). Furthermore, Tom sacrifices running away and his own life to protect his mom and family “‘s’pose
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