Of Mice And Man 2 Essay, Research Paper
In many pieces of literature authors discuss human potential.
In the novel Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck Illustrates human potential
and its effects on Lennie Crooks and George. Steinbeck suggests humans
have the natural potential to seek happiness although the potential can
be fatal or harmful.
Although Lennie does not have the potential to be smart, Lennie
has the potential to be a hard worker. However, Lennie s strength did
not work with him and the result was fatal. Lennie is an extremely
large man who had the strength of a bull. With the use of his strength,
he was great worker but did not understand how strong he was. George
explains Lennie s strength by: “that big bastard can put up more grain
alone than most pairs can”( Steinbeck 34). Through his size and his
enormous amount of strength Lennie could out work the other men of the
ranch by himself. Through the use of Lennie s strength he became a
great worker who knew nothing more than to work. Lennie uses his
potential to work hard, but does not understand how strong he is.
Without George, Lennie does not understand what to do. Lennie gets
frightened and uses his strength to hold on to objects. Lennie is just
like a child. He will do what ever George tells him to: “Curely was
flopping like a fish on a line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie s
hand. George slapped [Lennie] in the face again and again and still
Lennie held on(63). Through Lennie s actions we can see that Lennie is
very similar to a child. Lennie s first instinct when he is scared is
to hold on. Just as a little kid holds on to its mom or dad when they
become frightened, Lennie holds on to objects. Because of Lennie s low
intelligence to understand his strength, he becomes frightened and kills
Curley s wife and as a result, she ends up being killed by is
potential: “She took Lennie s hand and put it on her head And then she
cried angrily. Lennie s fingers closed on her hair and hung on. He
shook her and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still”(91).
Lennie did not understand his strength and became frightened, and
once again just like just like a little child he held on. But he ended
up breaking Curley s wife neck. As a result of his actions Lennie ended
up dead. Lennie had an extremely great potential to use his strength
and become a great worker. However his difficulty to understand his
strength lead to his death.
Unlike Lennie Crooks potential is his knowledge, and Crooks has
the ability to use his knowledge to, try to escape the problems he has
on the ranch. However Crooks falls back into a 1930s attitude and
chooses to neglect his knowledge. Crooks also uses his knowledge to
express his ideas and feelings to Lennie. “Books ain t no good. A guy
needs somebody to be near him A guy goes nuts if ain t got nobody”.(72)
Crooks is proving that he is a very knowledgeable man When around others
he may chooses to use his knowledge to express his ideas and become a
stronger influence. Crooks uses his wisdom to express his ideas and
feelings and leave a very strong impact. Crooks has the likelihood
to use his knowledge, but how he uses his wisdom will determine his
fate. “I said s pose George don t come back no more. S pose he took
a powder and just ain t coming back. What ll you do then? He
won t do it Lennie cried . He ll come back tonight —”(71). Crooks
is using his knowledge as a power trip on Lennie who does not understand
what Crooks is saying. Crooks is doing this because he has never had
a chance to use his knowledge in such way before, but is really abusing
it. Crooks chooses to use his knowledge around Lennie. But when a higher
authority is around Crooks chooses to ignore it for his own safety.
“Listen nigger , [Curley s wife] said, (y)ou know what I can do to you
if you open your trap? Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed
himself against the wall . Yes ma am , and his voice was toneless”(80).
When a higher authority is present Crooks chooses to ignore his
knowledge because he is scared to speak out for fear of losing his job.
Despite Crooks, knowledge he chooses to ignore it around higher
authority, this ending up in a 1930 s attitude with his knowledge going
Unlike Lennie or Crooks George has the potential to be his own
boss. If George does not work hard enough his potential to be his own
boss will be lost and his dream will be crushed. George has always
wanted to be his own boss. When he sees that the potential is there,
George tries to act on it. George says: “We d just go there, we wouldn t
ask nobody if we could “(61). George would love to be his own boss
and do his own thing, mainly because George would not have to take
orders from any one. To accomplish being his own boss, George tries to
save his money so that he can buy the ranch: “If me an Lennie work one
month an don t spen nothing, well have a hundred bucks” (60). To
fulfill his potential to be his own boss, George says he will save his
money and not spend any. If George can accomplish this he will be his
own boss. When Lennie breaks Curley s wife s neck, George realizes that
the potential to be his own boss is lost. Candy says: ” You an me
can get that little place, can t we George? Candy
dropped his head and looked down at the hay. He knew”(94). Now that
Lennie has broken Curley s wife s neck, George realizes that his
possibility of being his own boss is gone. Without Lennie, George feels
there is no hope. As a result the potential to be his own boss is lost.
George has a great potential to be his own boss, but with the death of
Lennie, George loses hope. George has chosen his fate to be a worker
and not to be his own boss.
In his novel, Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck illustrates to us
that all humans have the potential to do well, but how they use their
potential will determine their fate. Lennie, Crooks and George all have
one thing on their mind: to accomplish their potential and make it
reality. If they do not use their potential It can a source of pain and
an unfulfilled dream.