Humans are Insignificant in the Cycle of Life: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Humans are Insignificant in the Cycle of Life: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Humans are Insignificant in the Cycle of Life
“I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity” said Ayn Rand. The earth is only a “speck of dust” in eternity and therefore insignificant to the universe. Humans are also insignificant when compared to the universe because they are less than the size of the earth and overall do not matter in the cycle of life. This quote relates to the topic of naturalism because naturalism is the theory that literary composition should be based on an objective or an observation of human beings. In the novella Of Mice and Men George and Lennie, two ranch workers dream to have their own piece of land and ranch. They face many obstacles in their attempt to achieve to American dream including loneliness and disability. In Of Mice and Men Steinbeck reveals the naturalistic structure and characterizations of his novella.
The novella comes full circle and ends like it begins in order to display a naturalist perspective. The setting in the beginning and the end of the novella are describing the same place, however, the setting is described differently. The description of the setting in the beginning of the novella is hopeful and serene while in the end of the novella the setting is hopeless and depressing. In the beginning of the novella Steinbeck describes the setting as “A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green...On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones”(1-2). In comparison to the end of the novella when Steinbeck states “The deep green pool of the Salinas River was still in the late afternoon”(99), however there are no...


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...ny control over himself in order to let go of Curley’s wife’s hair. Lennie is an example of one of Steinbeck’s naturalistic characters because he does not have free will over his actions. These scenes are examples of indirect characterization through Lennie’s actions in order to emphasize naturalism.
Naturalism is used to demonstrate that humans are insignificant in the cycle of nature. Steinbeck demonstrates naturalism through the structure and characterizations of his novella. Steinbeck’s novella comes full circle and ends like it begins in order to demonstrate that humans are insignificant to the cycle of nature. As a naturalist writer Steinbeck regards human behavior as controlled by instinct, emotion, or social and economic conditions. Also Steinbeck emphasizes naturalistic qualities in his characters in order to demonstrate naturalisms effect on people.

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