Lennie Small, by far the better worker of the two, suffers not only from limited intelligence but also from an overwhelming desire to caress soft objects.
It was supposed to be rich in money, work and prospects — a place where you could work hard and fulfil the American dream of personal success.
Instead, it was a home to social misery and exclusion, especially for the migrant workers. Steinbeck writes to alert people to their suffering. Although the novel opens with an idyllic scene, there are suggestions of decay and social corruption even here.
However, even within the idyll there are suggestions that all may not be as perfect as it first appears. This violent expression also helps to emphasise the sense of unease. Thus the entrance of George and Lennie into this scene is not altogether as jarring as one might have expected.
The interruption of the idyllic elements may well suggest that humanity does not have the potential to fulfil the dream-like possibilities which the world represents.
In particular, the vision of America as a kind of promised land where men may prosper though a good work ethic is being challenged here. Steinbeck makes George and Lennie identical in terms of clothing, and opposites in terms of clothing, and opposites in terms of intelligence.
The beauty of the world and the richness of it all offers is the setting of tragedy and loss. The setting of the clearing is used to cast doubts on the viability of the dream. Light, a symbol of hope disappears whilst the dream is narrated, implying through symbolism that the dream will fail.
Another key setting of the novel is the bunk-house where the workers are housed. It is a primitive and functional abode. They carry merely the basic necessities, and their life can be contained in the throwaway boxes of a farm.
The bunkhouse is a grim rectangle with little light, drab and devoid of colour and life in every way imaginable — a commentary on the lives of migrant workers.
The suggestion is that the ranch-owner views them as mere instruments of profit who are worth little more than animals. Their humanity is devalued and they survive in a bleak home.
Talons are reminiscent of birds and prey, and suggest the ripping of flesh. Steinbeck critiques American capitalism fiercely through his portrayal of the plight of these disadvantaged people.
All the settings show the poverty of the workers and the social marginalisation that they face. Steinbeck also emphasises the fertility and abundance of the natural world — the tragedy of the book is that the workers never benefit from the possibilities the world has to offer them.If you print or download from this site, please consider making at least a $ donation through PayPal.
Sandra Effinger [email protected] DropBox Access -- Binder from summer workshops ( pages), various lists and handouts housed on my r etired AP English page have been migrated.
An invitation will be issued to $ donors. The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original. Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Of Mice and Men is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a parable about what it means to be human. Steinbeck's story of George and Lennie's ambition of owning their own ranch, and the obstacles that stand in the way of that ambition, reveal the nature of dreams, dignity, loneliness, and sacrifice.
Ultimately, Lennie, the mentally handicapped giant who makes George's dream of owning his own ranch worthwhile. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like The Fragility of Dreams and Depression-Era Loneliness and Isolation.
Plot Summary John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men was published in , eight years after the stock market crash that precipitated the financial hardship of America’s Great Depression, which lasted from . The Pearl is a novella by American author John Steinbeck, first published in This story is about a poor family which is more likely described as native Americans, who discovers an enormous and valuable ashio-midori.com novella explores man's nature as well as greed, defiance of societal norms, and evil.