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Analysis of "of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

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Essay title: Analysis of "of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

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.

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