Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Of Mice and Men"

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Australia Van Dyke


ENC 110

Mr. Appel


Paper # “Of mice and men”

“Of mice and men” is a novel written by John Steinbeck, in 17. Character is the most supportive literary element used in this story. This literary element gives the reader a better understanding of the story and makes the story more interesting. Even though this book is a fiction; tragedy I think this will be an excellent book for people who enjoy stories about love and friendship. I think Steinbeck wrote this book to tell us how important it is to have a friend to share your life with.

“Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter”- James Cooper.

“Of mice and men” is a novel about two men and their struggle to achieve their dream of owning a farm through their companionship. The two men are complete opposites. Lennie a man of tremendous size has a mind of a young child and George a small typical guy. They both travel together. They have formed a “family” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. They are both laborers in California hustling to find work and a living, a hand �to- mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan to own an acre of land and shack they can call home. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.

The main characters are George and Lennie. Lennie is a large, lumbering, childlike migrant worker. Due to his mild mental ability Lennie completely depends upon George for guidance and protection. The two share a vision of a farm that they will someday own together; a vision that Lennie believes in whole-heartedly. Lennie loves for George to tell him stories about, what their lives would be like someday. Gentle and kind Lennie nevertheless understand his own strength. His loves to pet soft things such as animals, dresses, and people’s hair leads to disaster. George is a small, quick �witted man who travels with and cares for Lennie . Although he frequently speaks of how much better life would be without his care taking responsibilities, George is obviously devoted to Lennie. George’s behavior is motivated by the desire to protect Lennie, and eventually deliver them both to the farm of their dreams. Their friendship is a true one, where they share their lives together benefiting from each other’s company. Even though they have no family and friends they thought the relationship they had was a special one.

Candy is an old man who has no one to talk to or to keep him company besides his dog. To him, his dog is more than an animal that smelled it was his companion to share life with. Carlson one of the workers on the farm convinced Candy to let him kill his dog. Candy had is dog since he was a pup and now he was gone. Candy was also lonely and had no family or friends. Out of his loneliness, he jumps into Lennie and George’s dream offering to give them every dime he had.

Curley is the boss’s son, he wears high-heeled boots to distinguish himself form the field hands. He is a mean spirited, and aggressive young man who seeks to compensate for his small size by picking fights with people who are twice his size. Recently married, Curley is plaque with jealous suspicions and is extremely possessive of his flirtatious wife. Curleys wife is the only female character. The men of the farm refer to her as a “tramp” a “tart” and a “looloo”. Dressed in fancy clothing and wearing heavy make up, she represents the temptation of female sexuality in a male dominated world. Everyone thinks she is trouble. She is desperately lonely and has broken dreams of a better life.

Crook is a character who is mistreated in many ways because he is black. Crook is the stable buck of the barn. He isn’t allowed in the bunkhouses because people say he stinks. We don’t know much about Crook, but he got kicked in the back by a horse and had a crooked back every since. He is isolated from the other men on the farm.

Slim is the prince of the ranch. He is the only character who seems to be at peace with himself. The other characters often look up to slim for advice. Slim understands the nature of the bond between George and Lennie, and comforts George at the novels tragic ending.

I think, “Of mice and men is an amazing story about friendship. I t seems that all of the characters in this novel, where lonely or just weren’t happy with there lives. Even though Lennie and George weren’t the wealthiest people and the world; they had each other. “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to… With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.”

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