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To Kill a Mocking Bird Character Analysis

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Essay title: To Kill a Mocking Bird Character Analysis

Of Mice and Men Essay

John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, is about life on a ranch in the nine1930’s. Two men -- Lennie and George -- are the newcomers on a ranch. Lennie is a giant man, much like a bear, who has obvious mental limitations. George is a friend, or the only friend, of Lennie’s. George and Lennie travel together and George is Lennie’s caretaker. They have a dream of buying a ranch together and living alone, where Lennie can’t get into trouble. When these two arrive at the ranch, they are greeted by all the ranch hands. They are Candy, an elderly man who is kept around on the ranch solely out of sympathy because he lost his hand on the ranch, Slim, a man that everyone on the ranch looks up to as somewhat of a leader, Carlson, just a typical ranchman, and a few others. All of these men are nice to George and Lennie, with the exception of Curley. Curley is the boss’s son and gets no respect from the other ranchers. He is a newlywed and married to a wife who doesn’t love him. Curley’s dad, the boss has a Negro working in the stable. The Negro’s name is Crooks because he got kicked in the back by a horse and it’s now crooked. While on the ranch, George is constantly trying to keep Lennie out of trouble, which is virtually impossible due to Lennie’s condition. As you can tell, ranch life is not a good one for anyone. Most ranch people, or more specifically, George, Curley’s wife, Candy, and Crooks, lead lonely desperate lives that they can’t escape and are constantly trapped in hopeless situations. Just because they can’t escape their lives, doesn’t mean they don’t try. Still, in the end, each of their attempts fail.

Curley’s wife is trapped and lonely in a life she doesn’t want and can’t get escape. When she made a feeble attempt to change, she just ended up ruining everything for herself. The downward spiral of her life began when she meets a man from Hollywood and Curley at a party. The man from Hollywood says that Curley’s wife is a natural actress and she can make it in Hollywood. He says he would write to her, but she never receives the letter. She claims her mom threw it away before Curley’s wife could read it, but that is very unlikely. So, after no response from the man from Hollywood, she marries Curley, who she doesn’t love. Now she is dwelling on dreams of the life she could have had. But she’s stuck and she can’t get out of her marriage. As a result, she spends her life avoiding Curley. It’s like a game of cat and mouse; she’s always pretending to be looking for him when she really doesn’t want to find him. Not only has her marriage gone bad, but none of the ranch men will talk to her. They try to ignore her because they don’t want Curley to catch them looking at her. They know that, if caught, Curley’s will unleashed his temper on them. Since nobody talks to Curley’s wife, she tries to get people to notice her. She struts around and appears flirtatious, though she doesn’t say anything suggestive. An example of this occurs in Crooks’ room. Lennie, Candy, and Crooks are all sitting in Crooks’s room, a room nobody ever usually visits. They are simply talking when Curley’s wife walks. They all stop talking and demand her to leave. Candy yells at her and tells her she shouldn’t be there. Crooks, who is considered lower class, even forbids her to be in his room. They obviously think she is trying to make trouble by walking in wearing a tight little dress. There are also many rumors going around the ranch about her, and how she gives everybody “the eye”. As a result of her perceived behavior, she creates her own bad reputation. Curley knows what others think. So, he tries to keep her locked up in the boss’s house. She gets very lonely from this. She wants a friend so bad. The only chance she has to talk to someone is when Curley and most of the other ranchmen are off playing a horseshoe tournament. She notices someone in the barn and she goes to talk to them. Lennie talks to her because he didn’t know any better. She is so relieved to be talking with someone that she forgets common sense. They talk about how Lennie likes to pet soft things, and Curley’s wife allows him to pet her silky hair. When she tells him to stop, he holds on more tightly. She is scared and starts to yell. Her cries scare Lennie who he covers her mouth. Then, she starts screaming louder and Lennie makes his grip firmer on her face. In the process, he breaks her neck and she dies instantly. Ironically, just as Curley’s wife finally starts to make her life a little better, she fails. Her loneliness makes her so desperate for companionship that she fails to use her good judgment. She’s dead and does not get another opportunity to change her circumstances and fulfill her dreams.

Crooks, a Negro stuck on a ranch with a bunch of prejudice white men, is not accepted as an

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