Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1488 Words6 Pages
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Without much doubt, reading the novel 'Of Mice and Men' does not prove to be a positive story. Its main input is sadness whether through loneliness or unhappiness in the hearts of the characters in the general social and economic environment of the time. The social context of the story is destined for loneliness as the novel was set in the times of 'Depression'-times where employment proved to be difficult. As a result many were affected by poverty and loneliness as many moved constantly in search of work. Furthermore, the setting of the story Soledad is short for the town's full name, 'Nuestra senora de Soledad' which means 'our Lady of Loneliness'. Steinbeck portrays the main characters in the story as people who face challenges of the depression. He examines such themes of American culture as dreams, loneliness and racism. Characters chosen to evoke such themes are usually the outcasts within the novel- Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and Crooks. For such a novel portrayed in utter sadness and sorrow, Steinbeck chooses to start it with hopefulness and optimism "On the valley side the water is lined with trees-willows fresh and green with every spring." Presumably, this is doneto add greater misery when things begin to go wrong as 'not all things beginning peacefully will end peacefully'. The first impressions about George and Lennie put doubts about whether the novel will remain as such a bright and hopeful story "For a moment the place was lifeless, and then two men emerged from the path". Having read the story, the novel starts with these scenes of optimism though gradually it turns into a... ... middle of paper ... ...ism. Though, hope surely does shine throughout the story; and amongst the sadness it can be simply spotted as it stands out high. However, Steinbeck does not evoke these moments of hope just to eliminate some of the deep events. He does this to add more sadness to the novel and so the reader can feel a greater sense of upset. This sense is usually recognized after having finished the novel, and then having time to reflect upon it. Hope keeps society in tacked; with loneliness it will just corrupt through misery. It was this loneliness which was responsible for lack of hope in the ranch workers. This can be proven by looking at how much hope Lennie and George's bond has compared to the ranch workers. Therefore, Friendship, human interaction, equality and human rights is essential for the happiness of all people in life.
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