Human Nature In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Better Essays
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…show more content…
Steinbeck renders Lennie as a good hearted person who is subjected to difficulties due to his mental deficiency. The workers all look down upon him because they immediately consider him to be vacuous, and, therefore, a bad person. When he kills Curley’s wife, George, his only companion on the farm, defends him by pleading, “Lennie never done it in meanness...All the time he done bad things, but he never done one of ‘em mean” (Steinbeck 92). Everyone is quick to raise the metaphorical pitchfork against Lennie due to preconceived notions of assuming he lacks character. The way other people treat him shows how cruel human nature is because, at the core, he is a kind hearted person with good intentions. This, however, is overshadowed by their predilection of him solely on the basis of a surface level characteristic. Furthermore, through an analysis on the boss of the ranch, the reader recognizes how his personality exemplifies the cruelties of humanity. When George and Lennie meet with the boss in regards to a job offering, George must speak on behalf of Lennie because of Lennie’s incompetence. On the other hand, the boss questions his motives and says, “Then why don’t you let him answer? What you trying to put over?” (Steinbeck 22). The boss immediately questions George’s intentions because George refuses to allow Lennie to speak. The boss deems…show more content…
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
Get Access