victims in one way or another discuss
“Of Mice and Men” was set in the Great Depression which could make
every one in the book a victim, whatever their circumstance. Most
people didn’t have a job and those who were employed were working in
terrible conditions; they were victims of an employment system which
gave no rights to the workers. Job insecurity meant that workers were
forced to take low pay and the mass of unemployed men meant that
anyone who complained would lose their job immediately and be replaced
by someone who was desperate for work.
The South West was known as the “Dust Bowl” because of the drought
that had led to crops failing and soil drying to dust. Families
dreamt they would find a better life in California and the west of
America because they believed there were a lot of jobs there. These
dreams turned into nightmares as 350,000 Dust Bowl exiles from
Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas came to California in the 1930s seeking
employment in the Orange Groves. There were not enough jobs or homes
for so many people. Like the characters in the novel the harsh
economic reality makes victims of them all.
George is a victim in a number of ways
He is a victim of “The Great Depression”; as itinerant workers he and
Lennie have to keep roaming round in search of work. He is well aware
of his situation as he tells Lennie “Guys like us that work on ranches
are the loneliest guys in the world…they ain’t got nothing to look
Arguably, George is less of a victim because he has a goal in life,
“Some day we’re gonna get the jack together an’ we’re gonna have a
little house an a couple acres…” this dream makes the work bearable...
... middle of paper ...
... this is kind of what keeps him going,
like Lennie has his rabbits and Candy has his land.
Crook’s imposed solitude has made him jealous of the relationship
Lennie and George have, this is why he uses George to bully Lennie,
“‘s’pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no
more.’” He enjoys this because he never gets to have power over a
white man; the victim becomes the bully in this scene.
In conclusion I think that most of the characters are victims in some
way. The main exception is Slim, he isn’t greatly affected by the
things that make the other characters victims. At times the victim
becomes the victimiser, but this is short lived. Most if not all the
characters in “Of Mice and Men” are victims of powerlessness,
financial hardship, job insecurity and loneliness, and some characters
are victims of things beyond their control.
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