Of Mice And Men Analysis Essay, Research Paper
John Steinbeck was one of Americas best writers when it came to writing about people migrating and looking for the American dream during the depression. John Steinbeck was bor in Salinas, California. This place where he was born would later become some of the settings in his stories like “Of Mice and Men”. During his younger years he attended a local High School, he then studied literature at Stanford University. He got out of college in 1925, after six years and not receiving a degree. After he disenrolled he moved to New York City and worked as a laborer and a journalist for several years. He later completed his first novel The Cup of Gold in 1929. Soon after that novel he married and returned to California where he continued his writing carrer. He published two more novels which gained him money and fame. He then started writing about the working class people in America, which he had been for a while. One of those stories was Of Mice and Men. A story of broken dreams and the lonliness of labores during that time.
Of Mice and Men was a great story. It is about two migrant workers who are travelling around the country looking to make money and get some land. The two main characters are George and Lennie. The story starts out with them arriving at a ranch where they are to work. Lennie is a mentaly handicapped person who george looks after. They have to stay in a barn where all the workers stay. There they meet some of the other workers like Candy, an old and lonely worker who has an old and whithered dog as his only companion. They also meet Slim who is a skinner and who later gets close with George and lenny. There are also other characters like Crook’s who is a black guy who as a twisted spine. Curley is also another character, he is the bosses son and is a trouble maker. The story goes through where lenny and George work on the farm and lenny always likes petting things. Lenny gets into it with Curley since Curly doesn’t like big guys. Lenny gets a puppy from one of the workers one day and he kills it by petting it to rough. While he’s in the barn with the dead puppy, Curlies wife comes in and talks to him. She tells him that he can touch her soft hair. Lenny begins to stroke it and Curley’s wife begins to get frightened. Lenny gets scared that George will find out so he grabs her tight and ends up killing her. After that George decides he has to kill Lenny so he doesn’t get hurt by anybody else for what he did.
The characters in Of Mice and Men are all unique characters. George who is one of the main characters is a small, quick man. He is a migrant worker, George dreams of one day saving enough money to buy his own place and be his own boss. He wants to “live off the fat of the land”, as he put it in the story. The only obstacle his objective is his mentally handicapped companion, Lennie, with whome George has traveled and worked since Lennie’s Aunt Clara, Who George knew died. The majority of George’s energy is devoted to looking after Lennie, whose mistakes prevent George from working toward reaching his dream, or even living a normal life as a rancher. George’s main conflict arises from Lennie, to whom he has ties of long time companionship that he so ofter wishes would end so he can persue his dream. This situation causes George to show many emotions, from anger to patience, to sadness and even hope.
The other main character is Lennie, Georges companion, and the place where all the stories conflicts come from. Lennie, who is enormous, and mentally slow is George’s complete opposite, both mentally and physically. Lennie’s ignorance, innocence, and childish actions like always wanting to pet soft things makes him a unique character in the story. Although his intentions aren’t bad, Lennies stupidity and carelessness cause him to unknowingly hurt animals and even people, which ends up creating trouble for him and George. Lennie is really devoted to George, and loves to hear his story.
“We’ll have all kin’s a vegetables in the garden, and if want
a little whiskey we can sell a few eggs or something, or
some milk. We’d just live there. We’d belong there.
There wouldn’t be no more runnin round the country
and gettin fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we’d have our
own place where we belonged and lived of the fat of
the land. You be able to tend to all the rabbits” (63).
Even though Lennie loves to hear this story he doesn’t like the fact that they have to work in order to realize this dream. His understanding of George’s dream is more childish and he grows excited at the possibility to tending to the rabbits that they’ll have, mainly because he will be able to pet their soft fur.
Nevertheless, it’s their dream and everyone has a different dream for their life. Lennie, however, is helpless to attain his dream, and remains a troublesome character throughout the story, rellying on George to give him hope or get him out of trouble.
This story has several different themes in it. One of those themes is loneliness. Loneliness affects many of the characters, and the author seems to show that its a natural part of the way these characters are forced to live their life. All the workers in the story are caught in a trap of lonliness. They never seem to make a good relationship with any of the other wokers. Lonliness is portrayed through how the characters act and live on the ranch. One of these characters is Candy. He is lonely because he is old, and is different from all the other workers. His only companion was his old dog, which keeps him company . He has no relatives, and when his dog is killed he becomes totally alone. He eagerly accepts George and Lennies dream and wants to help them buy the land so he can live there with them. George is also caught in the trap of lonliness. Just as Candy has his dog for company george has Lennie.
“I ain’t got no people. I seen the guys that go around
alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun.
After a long time they get mean. They get want’n
to fight all the time…Course Lennie’s a God damn
nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin
around with a guy and you can’t get rid of him” (45).
This is what George says about his lonliness and how he feels about Lennie as his companion. George too is left completely alone when Lennie is killed. An example of his lonliness was that he was always playing Solitaire a game played by ones self, this showed how he felt lonely even though he had Lennie with him. Crooks is another who is isolated because he is different. He copes with it by keeping his distance between himself and the other workers on the ranch.When he does allow himself to be drawn into the dream of working on George and Lennie’s dream farm, he is shut down. Crooks is probably the lonliest of all since he didn’t have anyone throughout the whole story.
“S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t
go into the bunk house and play rummy, cause you
was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to
sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play
horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read
books. Books ain’t no good. A guy need somebody
to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.
Don’t make no difference who the guy is, lon’s he’s
with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’
he gets sick” (80).