Thursday, October 24, 2019

Mice and Men Essay

John Ernst Steinbeck was born on 27 February 1902, in Salinas, California, USA. The Salinas River is mentioned in the first line of Of Mice and Men. The whole novel is centred on the landscape around Salinas. Steinbeck was the third of four children, of mixed German and Irish descent. His parents owned a considerable amount of land, and his mother was a schoolteacher who encouraged him to read widely. His background was neither rich nor poor, and his parents wanted him to follow a ‘respectable’ career. John Steinbeck wrote the novel called Of Mice and Men. It was published in the depression years of the 1930’s. Steinbeck raises questions in the mind of the reader that the novel would be based on loneliness. The first line read â€Å"A few miles south of Soledad†. This is a clever idea by Steinbeck as â€Å"Soledad† means loneliness in Spanish. John Steinbeck’s family was wealthy, but was interested in the lives of farm labourers. It gave him a inspiration to write books about migrant workers. He could of been a doctor or a teacher but he chose to become an author. John Steinbeck must of met a lot of people like Lennie and George, so he has ideas to write a good book. The historical context of the novel is that its all about the depression years in the 1930’s. It was illegal to be unemployed. People living in the 30’s didn’t have a choice but to go to work. The main characters in this story are George and Lennie. They travel around together, share their minds together, and what ever trouble Lennie gets into, George had to get him out of it. George didn’t like Lennie that much because of all the trouble that he gets into. He didn’t want to stay with Lennie, but his mother told George to look after him. Lennie was always trying to find a good opportunity to go off alone in the hills. George didn’t want that, he liked Lennie as a friend, but Lennie gets into too much trouble. But they always say; ‘You got me, and I got you’. This novel called ‘Of Mice and Men’ was set in a town called ‘Soledad’. It meant ‘Lonely’ in Spanish. The ranch is located in the middle of no where. It’s 4 miles to the town. The characters in this novel are ranch workers who are described as lonely. Ranch work is not long term. All of the workers except for Candy and Crooks are only passing through. When George and Lennie get jobs, the boss is suspicious of them because they look like they’ve known each other from somewhere and are close friends. The other ranch workers see that George is always answering for Lennie. But they cannot understand why they are always together. George says that â€Å"ranch workers are the loneliest people in the world and don’t belong nowhere†. In this paragraph, I’m going to write about Crooks. Crooks is a black guy. He’s not allowed to stay in the bunkhouse with the other ranch hands because he is black. He doesn’t have the same status as the other white workers. Crooks was also excluded because he suffered an injury and so is not as capable as the other ranch hands. His possessions show that he is lonely. Everyone can see that because he loves to read his books but was excluded. Crooks doesn’t like when Lennie tries to talk to him. Crooks get angry every time he tells Lennie to go away from him. But after that, he admits that he is lonely. Lennie will also get lonely and even sick when no one is with him. He needs someone beside him all the time so that he feels supported. For this, he always wants George. In this paragraph, I have looked at the way Crooks treat other people and what his appearance looks like to everyone else. I will now write about Candy. He’s an old man who wants to join up with George and Lennie and get a place where they can live. Candy provides a parallel to George and Lennie in that he relies on his dog – ‘I’m so used to ‘im’ (p.46) – just as George and Lennie are an elevated version of a master/dog relationship. Candy clings to his dog, despite all that logic and common sense dictate. He loves to be with his dog because he had him since he was a puppy. It was the best sheepdog he had ever had. The other workers didn’t realise the relationship between Candy and the dog. It meant nothing to everyone except for Candy. They’ve been together for all of Candy’s life. But now Lennie’s life has ended. Candy cleans out the farm buildings, and shows George and Lennie the bunkhouse. Candy lost his hand whilst working on the farm, and was allowed to stay on in this lowly position as cleaner. Candy soon asks George and Lennie if he can come in with them. George said ‘We weren’t thinking of a third person. Cause we was gonna do it on our own’. George knew that it was owned by old people who might be willing to sell it for $600 or so. Candy confesses he has $350 saved up and asks if he can come in with them. George really begins to believe that his dream might become a reality. He needs to work for another month or two and not spend anything so that they will have the stake to buy the farm. This will be good for Candy because then he can live a happy life and avoid the loneliness in the life of a ranch worker. He’s worked here for so long and wants to change his miserable life and make it peaceful. Candy was moaning that he just let a stranger shoot his dog. By the look of him, he could see that Carlson didn’t like the smell of Candy’s old dog. Carlson asks Slim to give Candy one of the other pups so that the old dog can be shot. Once the dog has been shot, he feels strong pressure because he had him since he was a pup. When George and Lennie were talking about their dream, Candy steps in and instead of being sad, George and Lennie gives pride and gives Candy more confidence. In this paragraph I have explained Candy’s life and the way he lives. I am now going to write about Curley’s wife. She doesn’t like Curley very much and wants to go elsewhere but cannot because of Curley. The other ranch workers avoid Curley’s wife as they know that if they befriend her, they will get into trouble. She also said that she could hang Curley at anytime if she felt like it (Showing that she can be dangerous as well as Lennie). She also visits the bunkhouse a lot, she wanted company, but had to ask where Curley was. On Saturday nights she is left at the ranch alone. When she is left alone at the ranch, she tells everyone about her life and story. It’s very miserable for Curley’s wife. She tells everyone the truth†¦ that she doesn’t really like Curley. Everyone else has names except for her. She has to be called Curley’s wife. That is why she doesn’t appear much in the story. She’s being treated like an object. Slim’s dog name is ‘Loulou’. We have looked at the character of Curley’s wife and how she got on. George and Lennie are different to the other ranch hands. The way they respond to each other shows very close friendship. Lennie always get into trouble and George is there to get him out of it. They share a dream together of working and then getting a lot of money so that they can live comfortably in the place that there going to get. Every time George says ‘We’re gonna get the place’. Lennie gets very excited and says ‘I get to tend the rabbits’. But when George is about to shoot Lennie, he keeps saying this so that Lennie puts his mind fully onto the house in his head and imagining him tend the rabbits, George wanted this because when he looked the other way, there was a time to shoot him. George wanted him to see it as he is talking. It was related to the shooting of Candy’s dog too which gave George more confidence in shooting Lennie. But at the end, it is George who will feel guilty. George often insults Lennie and ‘gives him hell’, but he doesn’t really mean it. Although he often talks about how well off he could be without Lennie he secretly doesn’t want Lennie to leave, and when Lennie offers to do so in the first chapter, George virtually pleads with him to stay. This is because George also depends on Lennie to a certain extent for his unconditional friendship. I didn’t think that Steinbeck would make George shoot Lennie. At first, those two was good friends, I thought they would actually get that bunkhouse. But it ended in a bad way. It made the readers / watchers feel shocked and feel that his life has ended with just one shot. George always gets annoyed of Lennie and Lennie says that he will go up to the hills. George knows that he’s the only one who has to get him out of trouble. But then decides if Lennie’s gone, then he can have total freedom and do anything he wants. At the end, it might of been a mistake to shoot Lennie. The first paragraph tells us about the introduction of John Steinbeck. It tells the readers what is going to happen. The second paragraph describes the setting and ranch workers. It’s the setting of the story and the ranch workers. The third paragraph let’s the readers understand Crooks. It also describes his ethnic group and his rights. The fourth paragraph tells us about Candy. It tells the readers about his loving dog and his dreams towards the ranch. The fifth paragraph also describes Curley’s Wife. The way she acts in the story, and how lonely she is. Finally, the last paragraph tells the readers about the friendship of George and Lennie. It tells us how George and Lennie travel together, live together and the trouble that they get into. It also summarises George and Lennie’s dream. John Steinbeck is trying to say that life in the 1930s in California was lonely. He doesn’t just write it down, because that will just give the point away. He wants the readers to imagine it for themselves.

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