The Downfall Of Women In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men illustrates the downfall of two lonely men. who have only each other to depend upon. Many of George and Lennie’s struggles come from things they cannot control, such as Lennie’s mental illness and the fact that both men are stuck in the dead-end pursuit of rural labor in 1930’s America. However, the greatest tragedy in this story comes from the simple fact that Lennie is left alone with Curley’s wife because Curley’s wife is the true villain in Of Mice and Men; she alone causes the trouble that leads to Lennie’s death. In his novella, Steinbeck examines the different ways that men and women express their power, and while the men in his tale rely upon the power of physical strength to assert their place in society,…show more content…
Interestingly, the only other character who tries to manipulate Lennie is Crooks. Perhaps jealous of Lennie’s friendship with George, Crooks meanly suggests that George might leave him, just to hurt Lennie’s feelings. He backs off, of course, when he realizes that he may get more than he bargained for, but Steinbeck may be making an interesting parallel here: Unlike most men, but like Curley’s wife, Crooks cannot rely on his physical strength to support him in such a tough world. As a crippled black man in 1930’s America, Crooks occupies one of the lowest rungs of the social hierarchy, and as such, all he has left to him is the power of his mind, as further symbolized by his glasses and books. Crooks just may be the smartest man in Of Mice and Men, but he is also the only man who tries to manipulate Lennie. In the end, Steinbeck is saddened by the depths to which both Crooks and Curley’s wife sink; it is a harsh world where one can get ahead only by using or hurting someone
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