Comparing Two Characters In Of Mice And

Men And Na Essay, Research Paper

The two characters that will be compared and contrasted are Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men ,by John Steinbeck, and Bigger Thomas in Native Son ,by Richard Wright. Of Mice and Men takes place in the fields of California, a very different setting than Native Son , on the streets of Chicago. Although these two characters live in different worlds, they both were men trying to survive in their society.First, Lennie Small and Bigger Thomas have several aspects of their lives in common. One, because of fate, both characters were helplessly born outcasts of society because of ignorance in the 1930s and 1940s. Lennie was born with the mind of a child and Bigger was born black and poor. Bigger told a friend that half the time I feel like I m on the outside of the world peeping in through a knot-hole in the fence. Two, both of these characters had impossible dreams of becoming more than what society expected of them. Lennie shared a dream with his comrade, George. Someday we re gonna get the jack together and we re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an a cow and some pigs Bigger had a dream to live and to hold a job as well as any white could in the 1930s. Watching an airplane, Bigger said to a friend, I could fly one of them things if I had a chance. This is, if society gave him a chance. Three, both characters had murdered in a panic stricken manor. The two characters did not necessarily understand why they murdered, but they understand the immorals of their action. Lennie said after he realized he had killed Curly s wife, I done a bad thing. I done another bad thing. Bigger is asked by his lawyer why he murdered the girls and he replies, I knew what I was doing, all right. But I couldn t help it. That s what I mean. It was like another man stepped inside of my skin and started acting for me

Second, Lennie Small and Bigger Thomas can be contrasted in several ways as well. One, the character s lifestyles were very different. Lennie worked as a laborer, following George to where ever work could be found on the farms in California. Bigger lived in Chicago, in one of several ghetto neighborhoods in the city. Bigger stole in order to stay alive, because he did not have a job in the beginning. Two, trust in others and the sense of reality was different to each character. Lennie loved George and put complete faith in him. When Crooks, a black farm hand, teased Lennie about the possibility of George spending all of the money they would need to buy a place of their own, Lennie said, He won t do it George wouldn t do nothing like that Lennie did not understand his cruel surroundings as Bigger did. Bigger did not trust himself or others. He carried a gun because there was in him an uneasiness and distrust that made him feel that he ought to have it along. Three, Lennie and Bigger were both murdered in different circumstances. Lennie was shot by his loved one out of sympathy. And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie s head. Bigger was murdered by punishment by the whites that had hated him. In conclusion, Lennie Small and Bigger Thomas, who lived opposite lifestyles, still had similar dreams and hard realities as most outcasts of society still have. Lennie teaches us to beware of acting on impulse and Bigger teaches us that there is such a thing as unchangeable fate.


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