What Is Steinbeck's Response To Authority In Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” focuses on specific characters' responses to authority and power that contribute towards healthy, thriving, diversity-appreciating relationships within human systems. According to Burns’ perception, “The best laid plans of mice and men/ often go awry” (38). Steinbeck’s classic novel adapted this quote, and it is clear that after receiving further inspiration from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse” both Steinbeck and Burns create a conflict through the character's unachieved dreams and the unfair treatment of weaker characters. Furthermore, Jean Jacques Rousseau suggests that men need to first agree in order to create healthful relationships through a ‘general will.’ For Steinbeck, this prioritizes Lennie Small …show more content…

First of all, George has authority over Lennie. In the opening scene when George and Lennie “walked in single file” (2) George is showing he is predominantly in charge. As the scene continues it is clear from the way that Lennie “imitated George exactly” (4) that Lennie feels he has to or wants to follow George’s actions. Once arriving at the ranch and meeting the other men Lennie has to obey the authority of Curley being the boss’s son. Where Curley uses social power to manipulate the ranch, Lennie uses intellectual and physical power to respond to certain events. Curley, on the defensive and looking for someone to fight, picks a fight with Lennie and punches him unmercifully. Initially Lennie “covered his face with his huge paws”(63), but George responded with “Get 'em, Lennie!" (63). When Lennie fights back he ends up crushing all the bones in Curley's hand. Lennie blames George for making him fight back and not being able to let go of Curley's hand, "I didn't wanta…I didn't wanta hurt him."(64). Because of what Lennie has done he is afraid he won't get to tend the rabbits on their farm. It is Lennie's actions and not being able to control himself when put in tight situations that characterize him as a ‘wise fool’ that struggles with thriving under humanity's social

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