Of Mice and Men is one of John Steinbeck

analytical Essay
1764 words
1764 words

Of Mice and Men is one of John Steinbeck’s major novellas. It tells of George Milton and his mentally-handicapped friend, Lennie Small. George, a short, shrewd operator is the foil to Lennie: a humongous, infantile oaf whose last name “Small” embodies nothing but utter irony, for he is not by any means small. Similar to the majority of Steinbeck’s books, Of Mice and Men’s setting is in the Salinas Valley, California— however, this one takes place in the 1930s. The novel revolves around the idea of the American dream and the hurdles the characters face in their quest to achieve it. The novella takes place during the great depression. During that horrid period, each individual has their own idea of the American dream. Steinbeck touches on several themes related to the dream such as the actual dream itself, loneliness, powerlessness, and the future’s unpredictability. Steinbeck adequately utilizes these themes to depict the unfeasibility of the American dream. The characters’ dreams are asserted throughout the novella. Curley’s wife’s aspirations for fame were eradicated once she married him. “I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella. Coulda been in the movies an’ had nice clothes, all them nice clothes like they wear” (Steinbeck 89). The wife’s statements epitomize the internal conflict she has regarding the choice she made of marrying Curley as opposed to embarking upon her dream of becoming famous. She is clearly aware that she had a superb chance at becoming famous, but the fact that she had to settle for Curley causes her a substantial amount of bitterness. Curley’s wife is also involved in another type of conflict; this one external—between her and George. “Don’t you even take a look at that bitch? I don’t care what she say... ... middle of paper ... ...eph Warren, et al. John Steinbeck Draper, James P., ed. World Literature Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992. 3372-3389. 4-6-2014. Gray, James. John Steinbeck American Writers: A collection of Literary biographies. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1961. 49-72. 4-11-2014 Scarseth, Thomas. "A Teachable Good Book: Of Mice and Men." Censored Books: Critical Viewpoints. Ed. Nicholas J. Karolides, John M. Kean, and Lee Burress Scarecrow Press, 1993. 388-394. Rpt. in Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Los Angeles Public Library. 4-16-2014. Hearle, Kevin. "John Steinbeck." Twentieth-Century American Western Writers: Second Series. Ed. Richard H. Cracroft. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 212. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Los Angeles Public Library. 4-19-2014

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that of mice and men is one of john steinbeck's major novellas. it tells of george milton and his mentally-handicapped friend, lennie small.
  • Analyzes how the characters' dreams are asserted throughout the novella. the wife's statements epitomize the internal conflict she has regarding the choice she made of marrying curley.
  • Analyzes how steinbeck portrays candy, crooks, and lennie as the weak characters in the novella. she communicates with the men in a way that she believes renders her superior to them.
  • Analyzes how steinbeck uses another disempowered character to illustrate the notion of the impossibility of george and lennie’s plan. crooks is an impotent character who uses his vulnerability to attack those who are weaker than him.
  • Analyzes how steinbeck uses crooks to emphasize the point that land seekers often misspend their money and eschew progress regarding their plans.
  • Analyzes how lennie is a major impediment to george's plans of capturing the american dream.
  • Analyzes how mice and men's protagonist, george, is the protagonist because he changes to a person who ends his best friend’s life and no longer believes in the american dream. his angry, vindictive, and violent behavior is explicitly injected into the story.
  • Analyzes how of mice and men outlines three themes: solitude, frailty, and the future's unpredictability.
  • Cites magill's survey of american literature. of mice and men. beach, joseph warren, and scarseth, thomas.
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