Date of publication: 2017-07-08 16:27
Candy, for instance, is an aged and hunchbacked man who is thus relegated to a low place in the social hierarchy - he is a swamper. (In contrast, Slim , the most respected and impressive worker on the ranch, is described as ageless. ) Similarly to Candy, Crooks - named for his crooked back - works menial tasks. The relegation of these men to such unrewarding jobs may be cruel, Steinbeck suggests, but so is life. As long as they remain isolated and individualized (rather than collective, where they could find power in numbers), these sub-par people are treated disrespectfully.
Of Mice and Men essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
If one theme can be thought of as defining the plot and symbolism of Of Mice and Men , that theme is loneliness. In many ways, from the outspoken to the subtle (such as Steinbeck s decision to set the novel near Soledad, California, a town name that means solitude in Spanish), the presence of loneliness defines the actions of the diverse characters in the book.
One of the driving forces of discontent in Of Mice and Men , and of Lennie and George s dream of securing a farm, is the alienation of the working man from the land. Itinerant workers only fulfill one step in the long chain of tasks leading from planting to harvest - they seed the earth, or they haul in the crop, and then they move on, never establishing a connection with the cycles of the natural world.
Of the other characters, Crooks and Curley s wife also show signs of desperate loneliness, though they respond quite differently. Each is isolated because of special mistreatment. Because Crooks is black, he is shunned by the other men as we see at the beginning of Chapter Four, he spends his time in his room, alone and bitter. Curley s wife also spends her days hounded by her mean-spirited husband her attempts to reach out to the other men backfire and win her the (not undeserved) reputation of a flirt.
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Both characters, despite their hard and bitter shells, reveal a desire to overcome their loneliness and win friends. Their efforts hinge on Lennie, whose feeble-mindedness renders him unaware of the social stigmas attached to the two. Of course both episodes - Lennie s visit with Crooks in Chapter Four and his talk with Curley s wife in Chapter Five - end (respectively) in bitterness and tragedy. Thus Steinbeck further reinforces the bleakness of life in his fictional world. The one man who could serve as a nonjudgmental companion cannot coexist safely with others.
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And it s not just the workers - most of the characters in Of Mice and Men exhibit signs of desperate isolation, including those who can be said to have settled into a permanent situation.
Crook s room is a small hovel connected to the horse stables. Crooks is fiercely defensive of it because it is the only space that is his own. He is not allowed anywhere else on account of being black In his room Crooks has a.
Lennie, clearly, is not fit to live in society as it exists in Of Mice and Men. His intellectual weakness parallels Candy s physical weakness. He lacks a basic sense of right and wrong, fails to control his dangerous physical power, and cannot look after himself. When, in the end, he is effectively euthanized by George, we see that even his friend and companion has accepted that Lennie, like Candy s dog, is better off dead. Steinbeck invites the reader to have a complex emotional response to this bitter truth. After all, Lennie is quite likable and, when around George, controllable. But this doesn t stop the inevitable, bleak truth of Steinbeck s Darwinian social world - in which the unfit attract scorn, rather than sympathy, for their impairments.