Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

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Human nature reveals itself in inconspicuous ways, whether good or bad. The era of the Great Depression portrayed the cruelties thousands of American citizens saw in themselves as their lives plummeted to unimaginable lows. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck tells the story of two migrant workers struggling through the effects of the worst economic panic in the history of the United States. Steinbeck’s application of foreshadowing, characterization, and symbolism offers a deeper insight into the dark side of human nature.
A technique Steinbeck uses in his writing is foreshadowing. When all of the farmhands aim to persuade Candy to put down his dog, the outcome of George and Lennie’s relationship is foretold. Candy, in the beginning, is reluctant to allow Carlson to shoot his dog, but, soon after, Candy gives up the fight and grants Carlson permission to act. In doing so, Candy is bestowed with numerous amounts of guilt for letting someone besides himself kill something he loves. He cries, “I ought to have shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to have let no stranger shoot my dog” (Steinbeck 60). While Candy confides in George, he tacitly implies his guilt and does not want George to repeat his mistake. No matter how cruel it may seem, the cycle of life includes both life and death, eventually a person’s time on earth will come to an end. Moreover, when George converses with Slim, he reveals one of Lennie’s many difficulties. He announces, “Lennie wants to touch everything he likes and just wants to feel it” (Steinbeck 41). On various occasions, the reader sees Lennie petting a mouse or puppy, and each time he does so, he ends up unintentionally causing harm. Curley’s wife’s death begins with her offer to allow Lennie to...


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...arm’s social hierarchy. The bunkhouse, therefore, represents all of the bad within people. It is in times of helplessness and hopelessness that the worst in people surfaces. The Depression takes its toll on everyone, and, through Candy’s dog and the bunkhouse, the immoralities of humans are displayed.
Human nature is responsible for inordinate amounts of suffering in Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck 's use of foreshadowing, characterization, and symbolism enhances the importance of human nature’s barbarity in the novella. George and Lennie’s harsh lifestyles as migrant workers portray the cruel experiences of members in the lowest echelon of society, many of which are direct effects of the actions of immoral people. Steinbeck’s novella explores the darker side of human nature; the side which exists in all people, but is hidden by the mask of society and civilization.

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