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

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is the story of two ranch hands named George and Lennie who are trying to get enough money to buy their own land. The novel takes place on a farm in California were George and Lennie work with several other ranch hands. Lennie is a mentally handicapped man who is very large and strong. George is his opposite; he is small but intelligent, and he takes care of Lennie. The book begins with the two of them making their way to a ranch after being fired from their last job, which was working on a farm in the town of Weed. Lennie and George were forced to run from Weed because Lennie was being accused of a violent crime that he did not commit; however, during the Great Depression and especially in the West violence was widespread as people were frustrated and angry due to the lack of money, food, and very often, housing. Steinbeck realized this and incorporated it in this novel. He utilized violence as its driving force. In Of Mice and Men violence serves as the catalyst for…show more content…
However, several times in the novel Lennie uses violence to solve his problems because he does not know what else to do. Unfortunately, his actions have consequences, the most crucial being when he accidentally kills Curley’s wife, which culminates in Lennie's own death. George also solves his problems with violence; his solution to the death of Curley’s wife is to kill Lennie himself. He believes that if he just kills Lennie his problem will be solved. However, he would have to spend the rest of his life thinking that he has killed his best friend, and that he can never atone for it. George’s act of violence solved one problem but, it only caused another one. Gandhi explained this best when he said, “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is
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