Of Mice and Men Theme Investigation

Of Mice and Men Theme Investigation

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  • In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, struggling to deal with one's weakness or appearance interferes with one's life and dreams.  
  • To start off, when George is more thoroughly introducing himself and Lennie to Slim at the bunk house, he mentions the following: 
  • "... He gets in trouble alla time because he's so God damn dumb. Like what happened in Weed..." (p.41)
  • Secondly, when George and Whit are playing with cards and begin to talk badly of Curley's Wife behind her back, they mention the following:
  • "She's a jail bait all set on the trigger... Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her" (p.51)
  • When Candy overhears George and Lennie talking about their dreams, he says the following:
  • "... as soon as I can't swamp out no bank houses, they'll put me on the county..." (p.60)
  • This quote clarifies that Lennie's lack of intelligence/mental stability makes it extremely difficult for him and George to stay out of trouble and make it anywhere in life. This also hints at the idea that Lennie's a burden to George and that George may believe that he can make it much farther in life without Lennie., changing the overall tone of George and Lennie's relationship as a result.
  • Also, when Lennie barges into Crooks' room, Crooks says the following in a way to warn/torment Lennie:
  • “S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy’ cause you was black… I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick” (p.72-73).
  • This demonstrates how just because Curley’s wife is a woman, she’s treated and talked about as if she’s a lesser being than the others or as if she’s just an object, making it very difficult for her to get equal treatment on the ranch and for her to make something of herself. This also underlines the general idea in the real world about how women were treated at the time and how they often had to resort to much worse than men had to if they wanted to make it anywhere in life.
  • To conclude, in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, it can be proven that struggling to deal with one's weakness or appearance interferes with one's life and dreams... 
  • This quote reveals how Candy being old and injured puts him at risk of losing his job, making it difficult for him to be able to live out the remainder of his life with little worry. Candy losing his hand has also gotten in the way when it comes to doing regular tasks that come with a specific job. This is also important when considering how difficult it was to get a job no matter who you were during the Great Depression, which was when this takes place.
  • Although this is more of an issue with permanent appearance, it can still be presented as a weakness considering the power that a person of color had during the time that this takes place in. However, this evidence also shows how Crooks has already dealt with a lot of abandonment/isolation due to the fact that he’s a person of color, resulting in him rarely interacting/connecting with people, even though he doesn’t want to be lonely anymore. This is also important because it demonstrates how Crooks finally gets to experience something that his skin color prevents him from doing, which is having power over someone.
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