A Harsh World and Culture on the American Ranch in Of Mice and Men Essay

A Harsh World and Culture on the American Ranch in Of Mice and Men Essay

Length: 2101 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

How does Steinbeck create for the reader a harsh world and culture on
the American Ranch in Of Mice and Men?

In chapter one of "Of Mice and Men", Steinbeck first of all describes
the beautiful scene, then the characters are introduced, Lennie and
George. The reader learns that they are on their way to a ranch to
work. They are making camp before they will go to the ranch the next
day. Lennie and George have hurriedly left their last ranch following
an incident involving Lennie. The next day they arrive at the ranch
where they meet the other characters, the old swamper Candy, The Boss,
the boss' son Curley, Curley's striking wife who flirts with all the
men. Also Slim the respected worker on the ranch and Carlson, another
worker. The ranch is obviously a harsh, uncomfortable place to live
and chapter two gives evidence of this.

Steinbeck begins to build up the harsh culture of the ranch by
building up a beautiful scene in chapter one. In the first chapter of
"Of Mice and Men", a scenic, calm and almost heavenly picture of the
surroundings is built up for the reader. He uses almost two pages of
the book in order to do this, describing the atmosphere about the
place:

" The water is warm to, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow
sands in the sunlight,"

This creates a very sleepy and relaxing picture for the reader. The
fact that the "water is warm" and it "slipped twinkling" are important
in this sentence. They are peaceful words and help create the most
beautiful picture that can be created in the readers mind.

However by the end of chapter one, the picture of the beautiful
atmosphere is starting to slip unconsciously away:

"Up the hill from the river a coyote yammered, and a dog answered...


... middle of paper ...


...rsh environment. His
sleeping place is also in worse condition than the others'. It is "a
little shed". This builds a picture in the readers mind of a
ramshackle, leaning, hut, whereas the bunk house is not brilliant but
the picture built up is not as derelict as Crooks' hut.

In conclusion I think that there is two main ways that Steinbeck
builds up tension on the ranch to make a harsh environment. One is
contrast. Contrast between things that go on outside the ranch and
then similar things that go on inside the ranch, but they just happen
worse. The second thing is discrimination and hierarchy around the
ranch. It makes it seem to me like an unfriendly place to live. I
would not like to live there. The hostile ness is built up well in the
story and I definitely thought that the ranch was an unsociable harsh
place before we started to analyse the story.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

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

- 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....   [tags: Harsh, Symbols, Violence]

Powerful Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

Of Mice And Men : The American Dream Or Nightmare? Essay

- Of Mice and Men: The American Dream or Nightmare The American dream is the ideal that every citizen of the United States has an equal opportunity to succeed. John Steinbeck thoroughly expresses his thoughts of this dream throughout his novel, Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck explains what the American dream is to his characters and how they plan to achieve it. This sets up the inevitable reality of the dream in America. Although America advertises the “American dream”, in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men the characters cannot achieve this ideal due to living in a predatory world, hard times, inescapable hierarchies, and the portrayals Steinbeck uses of America....   [tags: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about The Pursuit of the American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

- Of Mice and Men is a short novel about the story of two migrant workers who are best friends during the Great Depression (Goldhurst 49). The setting is the Salinas Valley in California, and the majority of the characters are unskilled migratory workers who do what their name implies. They travel from towns and ranches and farms looking for work and eventually move on to find another job. John Steinbeck puts the spotlight on two migratory workers who dream to finally settle down by saving money to buy their own land....   [tags: Essays on Of Mice and Men]

Powerful Essays
1961 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on The Ranch in Of Mice and Men

- The ranch portrays a harsh, callous society with no place for the weak. Discuss. ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck portrays a world dominated by powerful white able-bodied males. It is the views and opinions of this social type that permeate ranch society and those who come from outside these boundaries are ostracized and persecuted. Thus we have a world where Steinbeck describes the plight of women, black people, disabled people and those with mental disabilities showing the persecution and suffering they have to endure....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
1869 words (5.3 pages)

The American Dream in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

- The American Dream plays a significant role in the Of Mice and Men novel, but the question I state my views on in this essay is how significant it really is. I shall express every characters hopes and dreams including Lennie and George’s, Curley’s wife, Crooks’, and last of all Candy’s dream. While discussing each of these various fantasies I will consider how important they are compared to the moral of the story. Along with that, vital quotes will also be included if they play a part with the character’s background and their own ‘American Dream’ The great depression was a worrying problem during the timing of Mice and Men....   [tags: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
2056 words (5.9 pages)

The Importance of the American Dream to John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

- The Importance of the American Dream to John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men The novella, 'Of Mice and Men' was written in 1937 in Salinas, California. It was written by John Steinbeck who himself was born in Salinas in 1902. Adjacent to the Salinas River, much of the town's commerce is centred upon shipping and agriculture and specifically vegetable farming. Early in the century many people were migrating to California, and many were trying to succeed in farming. One of Steinbeck's jobs was as a ranch worker....   [tags: Essay on Of Mice and Men]

Powerful Essays
2276 words (6.5 pages)

The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

- Compare the American Dream with the real lives of the migrant workers in the novel Of Mice and Men. For the Examiner: The page numbers in this essay are from the Longman edition of the novel “Of Mice and Men”. The ISBN number of this edition is ISBN0582461464. Please take account of this number when marking my paper. In the 1930’s American novelists were writing novels about the current life in America and past experiences. One of these novelists was John Ernst Steinbeck. Steinbeck was born on 27 February 1902, in Salinas, California, USA....   [tags: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck]

Free Essays
3579 words (10.2 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

- Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan states that, "in the state of nature mans life is nasty, brutish and short". In depression era America, no greater truth could be said. There were millions unemployed, largely unskilled and living on the margins of society. The lowest of the low were the migrant labourers travelling from place to place trying to scratch a living. They often had to travel illegally by freight car with all its consequent dangers. Their life expectancy was low, crime was rampant and despair was a fellow traveller....   [tags: Essay on Of Mice and Men]

Free Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about American Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

- American Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin them two guys?" Steinbeck ends his novella with this last insensitive comment as it shows the harsh reality of the world, society as a whole is ignorant. Curley and Carlson prove this at the end of the novel; they are so unaware of compassion that they are surprised to witness the sadness of George and Slim. Steinbeck was writing at the time of the Wall street crash which occurred in 1929 this led to mass unemployment in America, thus the concept of the American dream was lost this ideally constitutes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as stated by America's fore...   [tags: Of Mice and Men Essays]

Free Essays
605 words (1.7 pages)

The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

- Of Mice and Men is based on 1930's America during the Great Depression. The American dream was no more, and the land of opportunity had become the land of misfortune. It was during this time that many farmers best hope for a new life lay in California. The American Dream is the idea of an individual overcoming all obstacles and beating all odds to one day be successful. This subject is the predominant theme in John Steinbeck’s novel. This is a novel of defeated hope and the harsh reality of the American dream....   [tags: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)