Characters in Of Mice and Men

Characters in Of Mice and Men

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Choose three characters from Of Mice And Men. What do you learn of
these characters and they're personalities, and what seems to be their
role inthe novel?

The novel Of Mice And Men is set in Soledad, California. John
Steinbeck, the author of the novel grew up by the Salinas River and
the setting of the story is that of his childhood memories. Steinbeck
wanted to explore the social problems and hardships that existed in
his native rural environment during the Great Depression years.

This essay will examine Curley's wife, Candy and Crooks. Curley's wife
is the only woman in the novel who has recently got married to Curley
for two weeks and already despises him. Candy is lonely and his only
friend is a dog. He is disabled as he only has one hand. Crooks does
not fit in as he is an African American, at that time all Negroes were
despised by most white men. He lived by himself on the ranch in the
barn by the horses and mules, mainly to keep check on the animals, as
he is the stable buck. He is classed as the lowest form of life on the
ranch, even lower than the animals by all the other characters in the

All the characters in the novel have some kind of a dream,
all-different in their own way e.g. why the dream, is important to the
character . Curley's Wife is a very interesting character although
appears a few times in the novel Steinbeck uses her to make specific
points a few examples are how flirtatious she is with the other
characters mostly slim, George and right at the end not exactly
flirting but she is in the barn with Lennie, the way Steinbeck
interprets her in these scenes is to show how lonely she is. She also
dresses in the most inappropriate way for life on a ranch, she dresses
in attractive clothes and plasters on make-up:

"Red dress, plastered with make up"

Which is to be in the movies as an actress as a man approached her
when she was fifteen and she apparently had what it takes. The
writer's intention here is to show how Curley's wife could have lived
instead of being on the ranch. It can be argued that Curley's wife is
not lonely as she has Curley as her husband. The reader feels sympathy
for Curley's wife as all the characters in the novel are interpreted
by John Steinbeck as misogynist

Candy, like all other characters, also has a dream, this dream is not
entirely recognised by the reader until part four of the essay when

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candy becomes involved in George and Lennie's dream. Candy's first
hears about this dream when Lennie asked George

'Tell it how it's going to be George'.

Lennie always asks George this quite often, as it's the only thing he
can remember. Candy becomes excited and jumps into this dream almost
straight away. Even though candy is to be a handy man this does not
deter him from the dream as for the rest of his life he will be happy.
In Candy's dream he also will be tending the rabbits, as George and
Candy well know that Lennie is incapable of doing so.

Unbelievably Crooks, the stable buck, has a dream quite like Martin
Luther King's dream, but Crooks wants to be white and get along with
the other men on the ranch. It may be that Crooks would not like to be
white but just to get along with the white people. Crooks' other dream
is to get a big stake and buy a house. His dream is a lot like George
and Lennies dream. As mentioned before Crooks would like to be white
this is how the writer conveys how low black people where at that time
regarded as

'He's the Negro'

The Negro of the ranch. If he was white he would have such a nicer
life on the ranch, knowing this he is depressed therefore like many
people the great depression. Crooks is a nice person but being black
the reader finds it hard to see that he has feelings and also his
arched back makes him look twice as bad of an outsider.

Steinbeck has written this novel in the hope that people would
understand what happened back in his child years. He also wanted to
convey his feelings of the violence and anger in the 1930's he had
experienced. In the novel the violence mentioned is where curly
exhibits himself in the bunk house because he does not like big

'No big son-o-fa-bitch is gonna laugh at me'

He starts this fight as Curley does not like people bigger that
himself. Firstly when Curley hits Lennie he cowers and curls up in the
corner and was beaten until he was bleeding all over his face and
body, its at this point where George tells Lennie to start fighting
back because Lennie could be killed. This scene is very dramatic
mainly because Lennie is a nice person being beaten up, maybe it is
dramatic because fighting is dramatic, everyone has different views of
the situation but the writer's intention here is to show how the ranch
workers turned to violence, in this case probably because they were
bored. There is actually no reason for Curly to just come up to Lennie
to start a fight is unlikely but maybe Curly thought Lennie as a
threat to him or his wife!

Crooks has been involved in many scenes of violence but are not very
detailed In the novel. One very sad fight is input into the novel
towards the start of the novel, the ranch workers had a bit too much
to drink that night and started to push the Negro around and it built
into a real fight, of coarse he only picked on Crooks because crooks
is black so it was a racial attack. Also Curlys wife picks on crooks
but also candy at the same time so it does not seem like a intended
racial abuse but still an undeserved form of adult bullying.

The Great Depression was a major issue of about this time after the
stock market crashed and the companies' shares went down by a vast
amount over night. People lost interest and confidence in the
companies and every one lost a lot of money.

All of the shares that were worth over one hundred thousand pounds
turned into nine pounds instantly making some people homeless, in need
of jobs and most likely hungry. This is where Crooks and Candy come in
to the story they probably lost money this way to and had to find a
low aid job else where just to live. Every one had been made redundant
hence the Great Depression. Most people were not used to working hard
labour and tended not to stay on one ranch too long, but Crooks and
Candy were different they were both disabled meaning they were
entitled to stay till they die. Crooks, the stable buck was kicked in
the back by a horse when he was young limiting him to the amount of
work he could do and Candy also being disabled with only one hand
limited him to the amount of work he could do too. Candy, in he novel
tells us that he only has three hundred dollars in the bank this seems
like a very little amount to have in the bank and it is that is all
the capital he has raised since the start of the Great Depression.
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