The Role Of Cruelty In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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“Cruelty might be very human, and might be cultural, but it’s not acceptable”- Jodie Foster. Even though cruelty was and is part of quotidian life, it does not mean that it is acceptable for people to be cruel towards each other. During the time period in which the book Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, was set, it was normal for people to be cruel to each other. The story is placed in the 1930’s as George and Lennie, the two main characters, work towards their goal, but face many obstacles along the way. In the book, most of the characters act cruelly towards others but in different ways: accidentally or purposefully. Surprisingly enough, even the least likely to be cruel will act harshly towards other people. It is often argued that people…show more content…
At one point in the story, George and Lennie are on their way to the ranch, and as they are walking, they talk about how Lennie should act as they arrive. George hopes that Lennie will not have them fired before they even get the job when he tells him that, “If he finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won’t get no job”(6). George is worried that if the boss doesn’t like them, they might get fired. He believes that the only way for Lennie to behave and not get them fired, is if he is cruel to him. George is cruel to Lennie a lot of the time, calling him “a crazy bastard” even though the connotation of “bastard” is astoundingly harsh. George earlier explains how Lennie makes them lose a job when Lennie acts strangely to a girl which frightened the girl and got them both in trouble, even though George was not even there at the time. Lennie tends to get them fired most of the time, so they have a spot that they meet up at, if there is some kind of problem. Lennie is hiding in the spot, the brush, that George told him to go to if he ever gets into trouble, after he accidentally kills Curley’s wife. He knows that what he did is wrong, but he doesn’t know how to fix it, and he thinks that George might be able to fix the problem. When George goes over to the spot where Lennie is waiting, he starts to talk to Lennie about life at the ranch but unexpectedly, “pulled the trigger”(106). George
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