Symbolism of the Ranch in John Steinbeck´s Of Mice and Men

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Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on the 27th February and died in New York City, on the 20th December. He spent his high school summers working on nearby ranches. There, he became aware of the harsher aspects of migrant life and the darker side of human nature, which him with material expressed in such works as Of Mice and Men; Of Mice and Men was critically acclaimed but, the Nobel prize citation called it a little masterpiece, the issue I will be focusing on is how Steinbeck presents the ranch as a harsh and violent place. Firstly, Steinbeck tells us that George and Lennie were 'run-outta weed' as Lennie wanted to ' feel that girls dress'. Steinbeck uses a sense of foreshadowing here when George reveals, 'how the hell did you know you jus' wanted to feel her dress?'' which suggests that perhaps later he will do something inappropriate but will be unaware that what his is doing is wrong. Furthermore, the use of the word 'anguished' to describe Lennie's face suggests that Lennie knows George is angry with him because Lennie keeps George in hot water all the time. Carlson is the most arrogant of the men, and the least sensitive to the feelings of others. Though he argues that it would be more humane to put Candy's old dog down, stressing that "he's all stiff with rheumatism...he ain't no good to you, shoot him...why he'd never know what hit him", Carlson can see that the dog has served its usefulness, and is not living any kind of life. He is also aware that the dog is a burden who impinges on the quality of the men's lives The dog is very much symbolic of Lennie to George, a faithful but terrible burden. Carlson's motives are actually selfish. Carlson wants the dog go... ... middle of paper ... ...n men in such a way. Ultimately, however, the world is too harsh and predatory a place to sustain such relationships. Lennie and George, who come closest to achieving this ideal of brotherhood, are forced to separate tragically. With this, a rare friendship vanishes, but the rest of the world—represented by Curley and Carlson, who watch George stumble away with grief from his friend’s dead body—fails to acknowledge or appreciate it, the death of Lennie is a harsh interpretation of friends for life. In conclusion, this essay had shown how the ranch is a harsh and violent place which places with your emotions and feelings, it is a place where many people come to find hope and a better life but in reality it does not matter how much you plan or dream for your future, somehow it will go askew. So we can ask ourselves, is there really such a thing as an American dream?
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