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Analysis Of "Of Mice And Men" By John Steinbeck

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Analysis of 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck

'Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck is a classic novel, tragedy, written in a social tone. The authorial attitude is idyllic, however, as the story develops it changes into skeptic. It is evident that Steinbeck knew the setting and places he is writing about.

In my opinion Steinbeck drew the subject matter from his own experience of working on ranches, he was interested in special kinds of relationships among men working on ranches with him.

There are several themes in the novel. The main theme is the careless nature of people caused by weakness. Nearly all the characters, including George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks and Curley's wife feel lonely, isolated and weak and they try to destroy those who are even weaker. Perhaps the most powerful example of this cruel tendency is when Crooks criticizes Lennie's dream of the farm and his dependence on George. Having just admitted his own vulnerabilities - he is a black man with a crooked back who longs for a companionship - Crooks zeroes in on Lennie's own weaknesses. In scenes such as this one, Steinbeck records a profound human truth: oppression does not come only from the hands of the strong or the powerful. Crooks feels strong when he has nearly reduced Lennie to tears for fear that something bad has happened to George, just as Curley's wife feels most powerful when she threatens to have Crooks lynched. The novel suggests that the most visible kind of strength used to oppress others, is a born weakness.

Second theme is an ideal friendship between men. The men in the novel want to be like brothers to one another. They want to protect each other and to know that there is someone they can rely on. However, the world is too cruel to sustain such relationships. Lennie and George came closest to this ideal friendship, but they are forced to separate tragically. With this, a rare friendship vanishes, but the rest of the world - represented by Curley and Carlson, who watch George leaving his friend's dead body - fails to acknowledge it.

The last theme is the impossibility of dreams. Most of the characters dream of a

Motifs, which are repeated in the novel, are loneliness, friendship, strength and weakness. Men like George who migrate from farm to farm are often alone. As the story develops, Candy, Crooks, and Curley's wife all confess their deep loneliness. Each of these characters searches for a friend, someone to help them measure the world, as Crooks says. For George, the hope of such friendship dies with Lennie.

Steinbeck explores different types of strength and weakness throughout the novel. The first, and most obvious, is physical strength. As the novel opens, Steinbeck shows how Lennie possesses physical strength beyond his control, when he cannot help killing mice. Physical strength is very important for men like George and Lennie. Curley, as a symbol of authority on the ranch and a champion boxer, makes this clear immediately by using his strength and violent temper to intimidate his wife and men on the ranch.

Steinbeck also uses symbolic motifs, such as Lennie and George's farm, the dead mice and the dead puppy, Candy's dog and a special place in the novel also belongs to women.

The farm that George constantly describes to Lennie, those few acres of land on which they will live on their own, is one of the most powerful symbols in the book. The farm represents the possibility of freedom and protection from the cruelties of the world.

The dead mice and the dead puppy - these two soft, furry creatures that Lennie accidentally kills are both metaphors and foreshadowing devices. As metaphors, they show what will happen to George and Lennie's dream: they will destroy it. Lennie never intends to kill things he loves. Lennie's two accidental killings of animals foreshadow the final killing of Curley's wife, an accident that determines his fate and ruins the dream for him, George, and Candy.

Candy's dog - this is an obvious metaphor for what George must do to Lennie, who proves to be no good to George and no good to himself.

Curley's wife, the only woman who appears in the novel, seems to support George's view of marriage - he has no desire for a wife or a female companion. Women have no place in the author's idealized vision of a world structured around the brotherly bonds of men, because they only cause troubles.

Material - the novel takes place in California in the 1930s. Steinbeck describes life of wage labourers without permanent home, who work on ranches. There are also mentioned problems of the American apartheid society.

The novel is told from the point of view of a third-person objective narrator.

Diction and language style are conformed to the setting of the novel. Steinbeck uses Standard English for the authorial speech, for the direct speech he uses colloquial English, very often with slang and argot spoken among people working on ranches. Using argot and vulgarisms helps to characterize protagonists of the novel. Steinbeck also uses similes, metonymies and metaphors to describe countryside, places and things.

The speech of characters predominates over the authorial speech and is realized by direct speech and dialogues. Steinbeck precisely describes places and characters.



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