War. What starts a war? The misuse of power. In the realistic fiction novella Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, there are many different ways to show power. The men encounter many minor conflicts because of issues with power. In John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men, he explores some of the different types of power through power in strength, wealth/social class, and knowledge.
In the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck portrays the theme of social injustice throughout the story in the lives of several characters that include Lennie, Curley’s Wife, and the stable buck, Crooks. All of these characters are mistreated in some way, shape or form. The hardships that these characters faced help guide us to see the social injustice that is prevalent in the story.
“Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” This quotation, by author Edward Abbey, defines power as an incredibly controlling tool, which is a major theme in the novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This story takes place on a small ranch in California in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Lennie and George, the two protagonists, are migrant workers who have left their old job and are now working at a ranch. Lennie is a huge, strong man but has the brain of a toddler. George is small, wiry man, and is almost Lennie’s opposite. As George and Lennie begin the strenuous work at the ranch in hopes of achieving the American Dream, they interact with various characters who also have hopes and dreams. As the plot unfolds, the strengths and weaknesses of each character come to the forefront. Each character uses his or her power differently throughout this novella, but everyone uses it negatively to control or injure others.
Of Mice and Men It is all quiet in the bunk house. Carlson is continuing to plead with Candy to let him to kill his dog. Candy does not want to allow it but, he does not feel he can deny Carlson.
Landownership and Power In the novella Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck helps readers to understand that land ownership plays a major role in power, in that the more land a person owns, the more power they will believe they have, therefore changing their identity, making them feel more superior than others, mainly shown in the scene where Curley’s wife comes into Crooks' room and the men start standing up to the like no one has before. Steinbeck shows us this through many characters, including Candy, Lennie, Curley, Curley’s wife, the Boss, and Crooks. Candy automatically feels like he has more power over Curley’s wife just because he thinks he will soon have more land than her.
“Keeping our eyes on journey's end is what we need - the place where we see at last the world that is greater than the world, the new creation that cannot be contained in present thought or social order or piety.” Parents tell their kids that dreams come true, but the societal order in the world ends childrens’ dreams early. Societal order plays a big role in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Starting at a lake with the hopes of a decent life, Lennie and George find a job on a nearby ranch. A quick turn in the story brings Lennie and George back to the start, and unfortunately, a fatal blow ends their dream. In Steinbeck’s book, strength dictates the order of society: men superior to women, women superior to African Americans, and African Americans inferior to everyone. This dictates the actions and words of the weak and subjects the powerful to prevail.
In the novel of “Of Mice and Men” power and friendship is the very bases of the story. There are many people with power in the book but I specifically was interested in Curley’s power. Curley is the son of the Ranch’s boss and he is very spoiled. He does not listen to rules and usually gets away with any trouble he makes or gets into. Therefore, he is powerful for the very reason that he is “untouchable.” He does not use the power for kindness but uses it to show who is best and in a bullying matter.
While he does have his own quarters, he feels shunned because of his color. Many people at this time period thought that blacks were dirty and lower than caucasians. Crooks has gotten used to this way of life, and so he isn’t used to having anyone who treats him as an equal. Having his own place is nice for Crooks; however, he would like nothing more than to get to live in the barracks with the other men and fit in. Sadly, as Crooks says himself to Lennie, “You go on get outta my room.
Crooks is an all alone, isolated character in Of Mice and Men, he is so isolated that he isn 't allowed in the bunkhouse because of his skin color and this loneliness and isolation affects him. When Lennie comes into Crooks ' room Crooks says "You got no right to come in my room. This here 's my room. Nobody got any right in here but me." Loneliness affects him here because he isn 't allowed in the bunkhouse so he has his own cabin and when Lennie comes in he isn 't used to people and he gets frustrated with Lennie.
They say I stink. Well, I tell you, all of you stink to me” (68). As blacks were no longer enslaved, they were still an outcast in America at the time during the Great Depression. Treated unequally they couldn’t get the same jobs as what most white men could get but, if they do they were separated. As Crooks was working at the ranch just like the other men, he was living separately from the other men making him isolated.
Of Mice and Men use conflict to display external conflict within Curley and Lennie. After all George and Lennie had been through a new problem shows up when they appear at the ranch. When they meet Curley automatically does not like Leenie considering Curley does not at all admire huge men. Shortly into the story Curley gets outraged with Lennie and starts a fight. During the fight, George says, “‘Get him Lennie’.... Curley’s fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it … and his closed fist lost in Lennie's big hand”(Steinbeck 63). Man vs man conflict is happening among Lennie and Curley.George is yelling at Lennie to “get him” being, Lennie would never try to hurt someone on purpose without an order, and when he does he squeezes Curley’s
Crooks is a black man who has been given the nickname because of his crooked back. He is another character in the novel that is discriminated against. Similarly, as Lennie and Candy are discriminated because of their weakness, Crooks is discriminated because of his race. For example, he says how he “ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse… can’t play [cards] because I’m black” (68). His race causes him to be separated from everyone else and be isolated in his own room.
Crooks is constantly being discriminated against which is the effect of being colored at this time. During the book talks to Crooks about the farm he desires, Crook says to Lennie, “S'pose you couldn't go into the bunkhouse and play rummy 'cause you was black. How'd you like that?” () Crook is at the bottom of the social hierarchy because of his race. This inequality is the barrier to his dreams of being
More specifically, the workers resent Crooks because of his color, and as a result, he is segregated from the men and their activities. However, Crooks can not just quit his job or move from place to place, as he, similar to Candy, is not likely to get another job. An example in the novel reads, “‘Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black.’” It can be argued that Crooks faces the most isolation out of all the characters in Of Mice and Men, as other people’s struggles do not compare to the issues he deals with everyday.