Style and Setting in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Of Mice and Men (1937) is a social realist novella written by John Steinbeck. It is about the complex friendship between the two protagonists, George and Lennie, who share a common dream of owning a piece of land. In this novella, Steinbeck uses an array of techniques to explore friendship and loneliness by means of characterization. Steinbeck uses the characters George and Lennie to explore the theme of friendship in Of Mice and Men. From the early pages of the book, he portrays the friendship of George Milton and Lennie Small as that of a father and his son. George is a small, dark man with a defined stature. He is also sharp and quick witted. Lennie, on the other hand, is ‘his opposite’ (Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, p.4); he is a huge man with a shapeless face, and with a brainpower equal to a small child. It is soon known that Lennie is intellectually disabled. Steinbeck describes the two characters as being two halves, and with Lennie’s brawn and George’s wit, they become a whole. They are two opposite characters and need to be with one another and help each other out. In the first few pages, George tells Lennie, ‘don’t drink so much’ (p.5); and ‘You gonna be sick like you was last night’ (p.5). This supports the point that George takes care of Lennie because he thinks that he’d be shot ‘for a coyote’ (p.15) if he was by himself. Lennie, on the other hand, obeys George like a faithful son would to a father. George sometimes gets really angry at Lennie, but he looks after him nonetheless. The lines: ‘If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us…An’ why? …because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you and that’s why’ (p.15-16), suggest that their bond is very strong... ... middle of paper ... ...rl on the ranch. She goes around the ranch with the excuse of looking for Curley, but really intends to get to speak to someone else. Conversely, everyone else thinks of her as an unfaithful wife. The lines, ‘‘Think I don’t like to talk to somebody once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house all time?’’ (p.76) suggest that she is extremely lonely and wants someone to share her feelings with. In conclusion, Steinbeck explores the theme of friendship and loneliness in his novella, Of Mice and Men by using characterisation. George and Lennie are seen as the only friends throughout the book and Crooks as well as Curley’s wife are portrayed as being the loneliest. In the end, it is evident that Steinbeck uses effective means to develop a sense of friendship and loneliness in his novella. Works Cited Kesey, K., 1962. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Signet
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