Social Issues In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, all the characters have their own unique ways of showing who they are through their sayings and actions. Each character has a different social identity, which oppresses them in some kind of way, making them lonely. In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses the lonesomeness of each character to convey that people suffer from their own type of loneliness based on their social identity.

One of the characters, Candy, was not lonely to start. However, once he lost the only thing keeping him from being lonely, happy was his dog,Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup(56). Candyr’s loneliness was something he hadn’t seen in a while, but once it came to him, he wanted to figure out a way out of it. Candy realized that the loneliness has come back around to him and he tells George that Jus as soon as I cant swamp out no bunkhouses theyll put me on the county (60). To try and escape his loneliness, Candy started to become invested in George and Lennier’s big dream so he wouldnt end up having to face the future all by himself. Spose I went in with you guys. Thar’s three hundred an fifty bucks Id put in. I aint much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. Howd that be? (59). He was very attached to the idea of the farm with George and Lennie, and kept pushing to have the farm even after what had happened with Lennie later in the story. The farm would have helped wipe out his fear of being alone, and it would have created another relationship worth cherishing like his past relationship with his dog. His position in society, being old, had forced him to develop a mindset to break away from his inevitable loneliness.

Even with all the attention she asked for and received, Curleyr’s wife didnt actually have anyone in the end. Curleyr’s wife expressed how lonely she really was when she was talking to Lennie, I tell you I ain’t used to livin’ like this. I coulda made somethin’ of myself(89). She didnt like who she had become and it was almost like she was running away from who she was. By doing that she found herself in a position where nobody truly cared for her and the only thing that got her places was her appearance. The only person that Curleyr’s wife could truly talk to was Lennie, because he was not conscious of what she was saying and she knew he would forget. In her last moments with Lennie, she finally felt like she was being listened to. For the first time ever, she confessed that I don like Curley. He aint a nice fella (89). When she finally became susceptible and vulnerable to her humanity, she ironically died shortly after. Curleyr’s wife is a perfect example of the oppression against the women and the sexism in this era that often resulted in isolation.

One of the biggest issues in this time was racism, which Crooks was a victim of. He was physically disconnected from the other men, and because of that, and the racial inequality, he had very limited contact with others as well. Instead of friendships, he occupied himself with books. Still, he had admitted that Books aint no good, and A guy needs somebody to be near him. A guy goes nuts when if he aint got nobody (72). Unlike Candy and Curleyr’s Wife, Crooks had to just accept his role in society because he knew that the color of his skin would never change, making him powerless in the field of oppressive forces of racism. He was fully aware that he was treated as if he was less important than the other men. This is just a nigger talkin, an a busted-back nigger. So it dont mean nothing, see? (71). He knew he didnt have a voice in society so he kept to himself. The harsh reality of this era deprived Crooks from being treated like a real human. His acceptance of the situation amplified his loneliness, making him the loneliest character in the story.

Candy, Curleyr’s wife, and Crooks were three of the characters who represented the loneliness and isolation brought on by what their social identity was in this time. All these characters faced social issues like ageism, sexism, and racism which added on to their loneliness. Each character had recognized their loneliness in some type of way, and depending on what their situation or role in society was, they took specific actions to cope with it or fight it. Something Steinbeck made clear was that the loneliness caused by discrimination does significantly impact oner’s behavior, mindsets, and actions. So for the people who do deal with loneliness, deal with it in their own type of ways based on their social identity.

John Steinbeck and Social Problem of Discrimination

Picture one dream you have for yourself. Imagine having to abandon that dream for an inexplainable or unfair reason and instead live in a constant state of loneliness and alienation where you are treated like nothing more than an object. John Steinbeck examines these issues of discrimination and alienation realistically as they relate to gender equality through his novella Of Mice and Men.

Set during the Great Depression in the 1930r’s, the ADJ plot follows the intricate friendship of George and Lennie as they begin working on a ranch in central California. Within the novel, discrimination and unethical treatment of women is addressed by Curleyr’s wife. John Steinbeck uses the discrimination of Curleyr’s wife in his novel, Of Mice and Men, to depict the theme of alienation. Through a female character, one who is not even given a name, Steinbeck criticizes the American society for its disenfranchisement of women and its relegation of unworthy or gender specific roles through Curleyr’s wifer’s words and actions.

Steinbeck prominently displays the oppression of women by simply only referring to her as Curleyr’s wife, but more so through the extensive objectification of Curleyr’s wife, stripping her of ___. For example, by referring to the only female as the bride of a male, Steinbeck shows Curleyr’s wife as only an extension of Curley, not an individual person; she has no personal identity. Furthermore, through the use of the possessive noun, Curleyr’s, Steinbeck further exaggerates Curleyr’s ownership. This is important because readers are forced to relate to her through Curley; all of her power comes from the ranch workers fear of Curley. An example of this is when Curleyr’s wife goes to Crooks bunk to ask for Curleyr’s whereabouts, Crooks says Maybe you better go along to your own house now. We dont want no trouble (84). In addition, Steinbeck describes Curleyr’s wife by stating She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages (34). Steinbeck utilizes the rhetorical technique of omitting details to portray Curleyr’s wife as strictly an object with a focus on looks, and no personality traits. Curleyr’s wifer’s red proactive clothing and accessories combined with her heavily made up look makes the reader assume that Curleyr’s wife is one who is artificial and values aesthetics over personality.

She is merely the spouse of Curley as far as all of the men in the ranch are concerned. They are only forced to relate to her through Curley; if they fear him or want no trouble, the men will stay away from her. George, for example, has set goals in his mind that he is committed , thus he will stay away from her in order not to get into any trouble. ON the other hand, if they do not fear anyone, they can enjoy their time with the intention of forming a physical relationship with her. Lennie, whos childish mind cannot comprehend why he should stay away from (reference to sausages)

Steinbeck undoubtedly shows that the power is centered on the majority sex, the males, against the minority, the females, through Curleyr’s wifer’s language and acts of a mean and seductive temptress; however, despite her cruelties, she reaches out just to talk to someone. Curleyr’s wife is the only woman on the ranch and her gender isolates her from the rest. For example, the swamper, when talking about Curleyr’s wife, states, Well”she got the eye. The swamper warned. ?Yeah? Married two weeks and got the eye? Maybe thatr’s why Curleyr’s pants is full of ants. This shows that due to her constant isolation, she is known to all the farm workers for her constant attempts to manipulate men, for relieving her boredom and loneliness. Steinbeck demonstrates how the desperation that loneliness and discrimination ensues brings a person to seek companionship and attention; in Curleyr’s wifer’s case, she finds companionship through flirtatious conversations.


Through the objectification of Curleyr’s wife, and her words and actions, Steinbeck cleverly weaves in the social issue of sexual discrimination. History is always taught to ensure we do not make the same mistake; the ideology that one gender is above another is a prime example. Through the realistic depiction of a darker time in our past, Steinbeck helps stimulate a brighter and more just future.

Analysis The Novel Of Mice And Men

Challenging Words: Scowl He stiffened and a scowl came on his face (Steinbeck 74). An angry or bad tempered expression.Hunched Lennie hunched down on the little barrel (Steinbeck 77). Raise (one’s shoulders) and bend the top of one’s body forward.Blabbin A guy can talk to you an be sure you wont go blabbin (Steinbeck 78). Reveal secrets by indiscreet talk.

Summary: Lennie walks in to Crooks and talk to him. At first Crook does not want him in his room, but then he letr’s in. Plus Crooks likes the company. Lennie starts to talk about the dream farm, which he is not suppose to talk about. Crooks does not believe Lennie because he is not normal. Then Candy comes in, and start to talk about the dream farm. Now the Crooks believes the dream house because Candy is normal. Crooks says he wants in. Then Curley’s wife comes in and starts to talk about her relationship with her husband and how it is not working. They tell her to go away but she doesn’t. The only reason she is there is because she is trying to get with the men, but they know if they get with her they are going to get fired and beat up.

Conflict: Itr’s character vs character because Curleyr’s wife is flirting with them. Curleyr’s wife can get them fired and beat up. And that’s the last thing there trying to do. Crooks tells Curleyr’s wife Maybe you better go along to your own home house now. We dont want no trouble (Steinbeck 85).

They know if they try to get with her they are going to be in trouble. Curley’s wife is a trap.Character vs self because Lennie tells Crooks that they are going to get a dream house. Crook does not believe him because he is not normal. Even though itr’s true, and he is not supposed to tell anybody. Lennie tells Crooks Gonna get a little place an live on the fatta the lan (Steinbeck 76). Lennie has already spilled the beans which he promised to keep with George. There is already three people involved Candy, George, Lennie.

Theme: Lennie can not keep a secret. He has to tell everybody. The funny part is that he does not realize that he is spilling the secret. The only reason he told Crooks was because he thought he was lying. Crooks shouts to Lennie Youre nuts. Youre crazy as wedge. What rabbits are you talking about (Steinbeck 76). When they bring uo the rabbit part, that is when Lennie spills the secret. Crooks called Lennie a Liar. Lennie trying to prove Crooks statement said No I ain’t. Then that lead him to spill the secret. Crooks did not believe him because Lennie is disabled, and whatever comes out of a disabled person must not be true. When Candy talks about it it gives a calefaction that Lennie was telling the truth.

Chapter Title: Secret spills againOf Mice And Men Ch.5

Challenging Words: Stroked Out his huge hand and stroked it (Steinbeck 93). Move one’s hand with gentle pressure over (a surface, especially hair, fur, or skin), typically repeatedly; caress.Clang From outside came the clang of horseshoes (Steinbeck 93).

A loud, resonant metallic sound or series of sounds.Muffled Lennier’s hand came a muffled screaming (Steinbeck 99). A loud, resonant metallic sound or series of sounds.

Summary: Lennie is sitting in the barn lonely petting his dead puppy. He starts to scream at the pup of why he died. He gets mad and throws the pupp, then he picks it up again a starts to pet it. Right then and there Curley’s wife comes in, so Lennie hides the dead puppy. Curley’s wife eventually finds out, and tries to comfort him. Curley’s wife ask him why do you stroke the dog. Lennie says that he likes to touch soft things, and she says the same thing. She says to touch her hair, and he does, but like the last time when he touched a girls dress and did not let go they got in trouble. Lennei does not let go, so Curleyr’s wife tries to escape, but the more she moves the tighter Lennie gets. Finally he breaks her neck releasing what her’s doe he take the puppy and goes to the spot George tells him to go in the first chapter. Candy and George go into the barn and realized that Curleyr’s wife died, so they go tell the other and now Curleys and a mob are going to kill him.

Conflict: Character vs Society because Lennie has a great mob after him. Lennie fell into the same problem like last time but this time he killed a women. Lennie was warned not to go near her. Not that she is dangerous itr’s that he can do something dangerous to her. Lennie tells Curleyr’s wife Well, I ain’t supposed to talk to you or nothing (Steinbeck 95). He is avoid trying to make contact with her. She likes him and pushes it.Character vs character because George is struggling to keep lennie out of trouble. That is the only reason the got in trouble the last time by Lennie. Lennie tells Curley’s wife If George sees me talkin to you hell give me hell (Steinbeck 96). George is trying to keep him out of trouble. How they had to run away like the last time. This time he does not want to get into trouble.

Theme: Lennie messed up again. This time there is no way out of it. He goes to the hiding spot George tells him in the begging of the chapter. When the ranch worker find out they get a mob, and try to kill him. Curley’s tells everybody Ill kill the big son-of-a-bitch myself (Steinbeck 106). He refers to Lennie that he is going to kill not George, but Lennie.. The mob has started and now they are coming after him.

All of Georges hard work is gone it did not pay off. If Lennie would have just left her then there would have been know problem. George told Lennie that she was trouble, but no he went to go chase the danger. Lennie leaves trash and George is right behind him picking it up.

Title: MobOf Mice And Men Ch.6

Challenging words: Glided A water snake glided smoothly up the pool (Steinbeck 109). Move with a smooth continuous motion, typically with little noise.Reeds The little snake slid in among the reeds at the poolr’s side (Steinbeck 110). A tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family that grows in water or on marshy ground.Belligerently Now Lennie retorted belligerently (Steinbeck 112). Having an aggressive or fighting attitude.

Summary: Lennie goes to the place George told him in the beginning of the chapter. When Lennie gets in trouble he goes to this spot. George goes to the spot and find Lennie. Meanwhile things are going threw Lennie’s head like George is going to hit you, and he is going to betray you. Then George appears, and tells Lennie to relax and look at the river. Lennie wants him to tell him about the dream farm and the rabbits. So when Lennie looks to the river George shoots him with Carlson gun. At the end George feels no emotion no sadness. The others come and see that Lennie was dead. They started to question, and Georger’s responds was that they were fighting for the gun, and George took it out of his hand, and shot him in the head.

Conflict: Character vs character because George shot his best friend or they weren’t friends. George was planning this all along. The spot to meet up and where he will die. George tells Lennie No Lennie. I aint mad. I never been mad, an I aint now (Steinbeck 117). George loved him but had to let him go. Like they say if you love someone very much then you have to let them go.Character vs society because he messed up big time not just hold on to a women, but killed her. Lennie told George if he was mad at him and George told him no. he killed the women and spilled the secret about the dream farm. Right when George shot him in the back of the head you could hear a mob in the background.

In the background you hear the mob say A man voice called from up the river, and other man answered (Steinbeck 115). You can hear the mob coming closer so he had to shoot Lennie quick.

Theme: George killed Lennie for Lennie would not make anymore trouble, and George could live his life in peace. All this time George has been planning his way to kill Lennie. George tells Carlson’s in a whisper Yeah. He had your gun (Steinbeck 118). George lied saying that Lennie had the gun, but we all knew that George had the gun. He lied to them for he wouldnt have the falut. Then Carlson says An you got it away from him and you took it an you killed him (Steinbeck 118). Only reason he lied was to save himself from getting the fault. George couldn’t stand the trouble Lennie was making, so George made a plan to stop it.

The main theme Of The Story Of Mice

In the book Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck I believe the main theme is friendship. This story takes place in the Great Depression in California. The book was about two men who had a strong friendship and the man named Lennie had something wrong with him, so he acted like a child. George was Lennier’s caretaker since Lennie wasnt able to take care of himself very well. This book showed how much George cared about Lennie by taking care of him even though he didnt have to.

The book, Of Mice And Men, has many themes but friendship stood out the most to me. George was always taking care of Lennie and sometimes George got frustrated with Lennie. In the book it said, The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over Lennie, so you forgot that awready,did you? I gotta tell you again, do I ? This shows that George gets mad a lot but still stays by Lennier’s side, even when Lennie forgets what George tells him just after he says it.

George is very patient with Lennie even though he gets furious. Lennie doesnt think like most men do as was shown when George asks this, What you want of a dead mouse,anyways? I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along, said Lennie. This shows that Lennie acts like a child by wanting to pet the mouse. People like Lennie dont understand that they are men and strong and could hurt someone even if they are just playing around. God, youre a lot of trouble, said George. George never leaves Lennie because her’s his friend and thatr’s what true friendship is about even though you might sometimes feel annoyed or mad.

Another way that the reader can tell George cares for Lennie is by him saying. I aint takin it away just for meanness. That mouse aint fresh, Lennie; and besides, youve broke it pettin it. You get another mouse thatr’s fresh and Ill let you keep it a little while. This shows that George does really care about him even when Lennie is making problems. George was always giving Lennie hope. Hope that they would get their own home and Lennie could have a puppy and a rabbit.

In the end of the book it shows what a real friendship is when the writer wrote, the voices came close now. George raised the gun and listened to the voices. Lennie begged, Ler’s do it now. Ler’s get that place now. Sure, right now. I gotta we gotta. And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennier’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied and pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hill and down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.

This part of this book is so important because George cared so much about Lennie he shot him so Curley wouldnt shoot him and make him suffer.

This book is an amazing story that shows what true friendship means. Of Mice And Men, was very powerful to me and helped me understand what a true friend really is. Back in the Great Depression real friendships meant a lot to people. Today most people dont understand what being a friend means. Now I see people calling everyone their best friends and thatr’s not what true friendship is. A true best friend is someone you trust and can tell your darkest secrets to and can trust them to not tell anyone. Itr’s sad that people dont know what true friendship is, but George and Lennie did and they made me think more about what having a true friendship really means. I hope people realize how important close friendships are.

Compare and Contrast Essay of Mice and Men

Compare and contrast essay Of Mice and Men The Story Of Mice and Men is about two buddies that go on to find work or any kind of income. The only problem is that lennie, one of the main characters, has a mental disability. Thankfully George, the other main character also lennie’s best friend, is around to help lennie. In the story more characters come into play including a nice old man named candy who has been working on the farm for many years. Like George candy has to take care of his old dog that he raised from a pup. Unfortunately one of Candy’s so called buddies took the dog out and shot him for the dogs own good. In the end George also loses his closest pal. Through the story George and candy have some similarities and differences. Similarities between George and candy are so similar that you would probably mistake them for the same character. One of the main similarities is that George and Candy both just want to get away and “live off the land. ” In the story George proposes that Candy, Lennie and him go away and just forget all their problems, George of course would let lennie tend to the rabbits. When Candy here’s of the plan he wants in after he lived his life working for another man. Since they both just wanted to get away and felt the need to just leave George grew closer to candy friend wise. Ever since the plan was made they just could not wait including Candy which almost asked every time he and George met. Now in the story Candy and George both loose someone close to them. As you may or may not know loosing someone close to you hurts you a lot. Giving Candy in his old age loosing probably his only thing to a family or a relationship he felt very depressed. Although it may be funny to some that comparing George having to shoot his best pal Lennie in the back they both equally felt the pain. You can tell at the end when George kills lennie Candy then accepts George’s loss. George and Candy then grow in their friendship when they both realize to advance in life you need to make hard decisions that may be involving another person’s life. Now in the story there are many similarities between candy and George besides there need to get away and deal with hard choices in life. But no matter what character there are always some differences. One of the differences between the characters George and Candy is that candy likes to think ahead and plan for his future while George on the other hand would rather make a dream and fulfill it as soon as possible. A sample would be when George first proposed the plan that they shall live on their own farm making their own money Candy thought George was crazy. But when George showed that he was serious Candy joined right on board. Showing that It took some time for Candy to agree because he thought about how it would affect his life when George just went on the same road till his dream was fulfilled. In the end there are some similarities and some differences just how it was meant to be. Nothing will ever be the exact same no matter what you are comparing. Anything like comparing Coke to Pepsi or flat screen and a tube TV nothing will ever be the exact same. In the end I guess that the characters are more alike than different or the opposite depending on how you are viewing them. Overall though Candy and George look like they will have a bright future together no matter on how alike or how different they are.

Of Mice and Men Research Paper

There is only one event in the 20th century that occurred in the United States that has a major influence on our world today: The Great Depression. This, along with the simultaneous Dust Bowl phenomenon, had both a catastrophic impact on life at the time, and the economic policies of the U.S. today. Countless people in cities and towns went homeless or without jobs, and farmers impacted by both disasters moved to places like California for a better life. There is still countless people who can tell you about the times, and the horrible conditions of life then.

The Great Depression was no coincidence or event of fate and nature. Princeton economist Paul Krugman blamed it on -a collapse of effective demand (Jacobson Schwartz and Milton). Effective demand is when people move to one good or service from another because the other is unaffordable or out of reach (Colander 379), so the crash that sparked the 1930s depression was the lack thereof. In the 1930s people would blame it wholly on stock market speculation, reckless banking practices, and a concentration of wealth in too few hands (Powell 48). These came into play, but again, the underlying ineffective demand was to blame. The 1930r’s had the highest sustained unemployment in U.S. history, with at least 14% of the population jobless in the decade, along with most of those employed still being impoverished (Powell 48). The Great Depression was not properly addressed until the Banking Laws of 1935, the Glass-Steagall Act, and the overarching New Deal, which all existed so the government could aid in returning the market to normal (Powell 48-09). Despite these attempts to correct the market, the depression endured from 1929 to 1937, worst in 1933. Not just people in urban areas were affected though, as farmers were hit hard by the chain of demand. When buyers of produce spent what money they had on farm goods, farmers still couldnt afford anything with that same money and went totally broke. When these times were the toughest, -some farm families were forced to eat their seed corn(Morton 52). This is how desperate, and knowingly desperate farmers were, that they would eat their only source of the next yearr’s harvest for sustenance.

Countless farmers migrated to cities for some sort of work, partially also driven by the Dust Bowl (UC Davis 1). Another group heavily impacted by the Great Depression was minorities and women. First of all, women were highly disadvantaged at the time, with scarce opportunities to work. With many men cut off from work, there was almost no income in many households, and single women were even worse off (Marx 1). Minorities, especially African Americans, were the most hurt overall, by a racist environment all over the south and worsened poverty. For example, the New Deal contained no anti-lynching legislation (Marx 1), and public lynching/beating was prevalent and somewhat common at the time. Government employment programs were even made discriminatory, as their local supervisors would reduce the pay of minority workers to increase the pay of white workers. Eventually, this got to the high office, but the changes enacted didnt do much for the workers, as they still lived in discrimination (Marx 1).

The Dust Bowl was a climatic event that occurred during the 1930r’s. There is no stated year where it was at itr’s worst, but it generally took worst effect in growing seasons with ?anomalous drought and heat (Donat et al. 415). As noted in an Climate Dynamics article, The climate over much of the US during the 1930s was characterized by exceptionally hot and dry conditions (Peterson et al. 2013), often referred to as the ?Dust Bowl(Donat et al. 413). The Dust Bowl is called such because it was characterized by frequent and severe dust storms during the decade. These storms were spawned by the droughts sweeping the nation, especially the southern Great Plains, which were in turn caused by the record high temperatures (Cook et al. 1). According to the Columbia University Earth Institute, There had never been dust storms like these in prior droughts. In the worst years of the 1930s on as many as a quarter of the days, dust reduced visibility to less than a mile. More soil was lost by wind erosion than the Mississippi carried to the sea(Cook et al. 1). Hence, the name is derived from the dust blowing on the prairies which was the ruin of any farmland, comprised of the land itself. Naturally, those most affected from the devastation of farmland are going to be the resident farmers. Many farmers were completely out of work, as the earth they had been planting on was blown away by high winds, dried by the arid conditions. Countless farmers had the choice between moving away or starving, with little to no money left from the annual yield (Worster 29). The landscape, in the words of Donald Worster, was as follows: The fences, piled high with tumbleweeds and drifted over with dirt, looked like giant backbones of ancient reptiles (Worster 29). This is an illustration of the dirt piles, but even more devastating is the description of the farmlands- -the underlying hardpan was laid bare, as sterile and unyielding as a city pavement (Worster 29). Clearly, the formal fertile land was unusable and the soil was elsewhere, so farmers were left with no place for what crops they had to sow. Any topsoil gave way to hard undersoil, which could not grow anything.

These farmers still had to make a living, though. So they traveled, mostly to the west, as migrant workers (UC Davis 1). These migrant workers were farmers and assorted people from the midwest who traveled the country looking for any kind of work. They emerged because of economic decline of the Great Depression and/or because their farms had been blown dry in the Dust Bowl. There numbers were large but spread out in the plains, but nearing California, their numbers were startlingly high and concentrated, some even creating immigrant camps outside cities (UC Davis 1). In fact, a study by Anne Loftis states that In Fall 1931, migrants were arriving in the state at the rate of 1,200 to 1,500 a day, an annual rate of almost 500,000 (UC Davis 1). This huge number meant municipalities would try to make laws and regulations lowering the number of migrants allowed to enter. Life for a typical migrant worker was going from farm to farm, planting, irrigating, and harvesting, often never staying at a single farm for long. Many lived in semi-legal camps in California, where they were harassed by officers to get them to leave. States like California, where many moved in, were not welcoming to the influx, and so they passed laws and labor acts that would prevent the migrants from entering at all. Work was hard, industrial labor on farms and sometimes at factories (UC Davis 1). Again referring to the barring acts of municipalities, migrants were mistreated in various ways. One of these ways was outlined in the Vagrancy Laws of 1933 and 1937, under which many migrants were arrested and sometimes “lent” to farmers to work off their fines (UC Davis 1). This practice is similar to debtors prison which was banned centuries earlier in England. This is also somewhat akin to temporary slavery, as migrants would often have no choice in the matter of their work and no ability to legally leave or disobey the employer. Migrants very rarely gained much wealth and many stayed dirt poor all through the 30s (UC Davis 1).

Migrants, as mentioned, often traveled to California for work – specifically the Salinas Valley. The Salinas Valley is home to the capital of the state, Sacramento. However, it wasnt the big city most of the travelers were looking for, but farm labor. There is no shortage of farmland in that valley. The Salinas Valley is a long valley surrounded by the Sierra de Salinas, Gabilan, and Diablo mountain ranges. The valley has a wide watershed, and the floor is fertile from that distribution (Saavedra). There are underground deposits of water, such as the Pressure 180-foot and 400-foot, increasing the flow of water into the valleyr’s irrigation and drinking water. Mountainous silt makes up the topsoil next to the Salinas River itself, adding to the fertility of the land and ability to mass farm (Saavedra). Primarily, the Salinas Valley has an output of crops like corn, wheat, and all sorts of ground level leaves (cabbage, lettuce, etc.). The valleyr’s large output brings in billions per year, contributing to Californiar’s country-like economy. Not the river, but rather groundwater from the greater watershed, is what supplies the watering needs of Salinas crops. In fact, 95% of irrigation is just from underground deposit sources, and that same percentage goes for local uses and greater industry in urban areas (Saavedra). The great benefit of such land is the fertility of soil and overall availability of water. The two large drawbacks are the surrounding mountains, which can slow travel time and trade, and the possibility of over-farming and contaminating water. Over-farming can make contaminated water in two ways. Taking too much from underground reserves before it can be replenished leaves natural toxins in higher concentration, so if a certain location was extracted the toxins would come with it in high density. The other way is that reduced aquifer pressure allows seawater to flood into reserves and ruin them for further use in any way (Saavedra). In a data paper by Manuel Saavedra, The high chloride levels have rendered the seawater intruded ground waters too salty for municipal and agricultural use(Saavedra 1). This, however, is only for the coastline valley, so inland places where migrants traveled were safe from seawater intrusion.

The four topics covered clearly share a chronological connection and timeline. The Great Depression and Dust Bowl occured at the same time, each worsening the effect of the other to some degree. The people displaced in the Dust Bowl became traveling, dirt-poor migrant workers, and many of them moved to the Salinas Valley in California for prospect. These all come together to influence our current day ideas about climate, natural phenomena, banking powers, and immigration.

Lonely Characters on Of Mice and Men

Mother Teresa Said that the most terrible poverty in loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck explores the topic of loneliness expressed by several different characters. Taking place on and isolated ranch near a town called Soledad (spanish for solitude), George and lennie are workers who travel each other and look out for one another.

The stand in stark contrast to the many other characters who live lives of loneliness without anyone to care for or who cares for them. Steinbeck uses the characters of Crooks, Curleyr’s wife, Candy to show what life is like for people who, unlike George and Lennie, are truly isolated or alone in this world.

The character Crooks, is an example of a lonely character in the story because he uses so much evidence that makes whoever is reading the story believe he is a lonely and is without nobody. Crooks, as the only character of color, and doesnt really have people that know him because of his color. He has hidden or backed off of any groups or having friends because of racism. Crooks has reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality no ego, ?nothing.(81) There is no personality in the point of view of people who dont know him. People dont know him and thatr’s why they say he has no personality because her’s not social with no one and that disassembles who he really is as a person. Crookes keeping back out of attention Range.(96) Crooks is a character that seems to be alone and quite distant from other people, and doesnt like to be the center of attention at all because maybe he seems self conscious about his skin tone. Overall, he is character that has a lonely personality and isnt talked to or mentioned a lot during the story, that might indicate that he is a character thatr’s not really known or that no one knows him.

Curleyr’s wife is a big important factor to the point that people are lonely in this story. She is probably the loneliest character in the story because she is the only female,I get lonely she said, ?you can talk to people but I cant talk to anybody but curley.(87), and because she is a women she is limited by her husband Curly what she can and not do. One big thing she cannot do is talk and socialize to the men/workers, which is why she might feel lonely most of the time .

She communicates her feelings to another character and she tells him that she would love to talk to somebody but cannot since her husband doesnt let her do whatever she wants, Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever once in a while?(77), she obviously seems like she wants attention and needs it because of how desperate she is. Even though Curleyr’s wife doesnt in particular have a name, I feel like that has a meaning behind that too. I think the meaning behind that was to show that she wasnt much of an important character as far as having the title of just Curleyr’s wife.

Candy, the old man, is old and lonely, and throughout the story it seems to be like that for a while now. Candy mentions how he’s had a dog for a long time, that might indicate that that’s the only companion has only had, throughout his life. So in the part of the book in where Candy is pressured to give up his dog for dead, he doesnt want to do it because I feel like he was gonna be even more lonelier without the dog, ?Candy looked unhappy No he said softly. No, I couldn’t do that . I had ?im too long. (45) When he did give him up, Carlson, shot the dog from far away. But, they heard it from the distance, and when it happened, they all looked straight at Candy, For a moment he continued to stare at the ceiling. The he rolled over slowly and faced the wall and laid silent. He probably regrets the way the dog died, later on he tells george that he should of shot the dog and not somebody else. Continuing along the story he disrupts George and Lennie when they start talking about how they are going to live on a small piece of land and have animals to care for. He starts by saying, Spose I went in with you guys. That’s three hundred and fifty bucks Id put in. I aint much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. Howd that be? This supports how lonely he is because when George and Lennie talked about their future, there was a huge chance for Candy to not be lonely for once in his life.

Steinbeck made such a big deal about loneliness because we dont realize how many people are lonely in this world and maybe wanted us to self reflect on our lives compared to the lives that lonely people live. He might of been saying that lonely people struggle more than people with others to share it with. Comparing the life of the characters in the book to people today is much different because back when the great depression was being introduced, more and more people traveled alone. And today, it’s not common to see that. Overall loneliness is a stressful topic to talk about, just the thought of it makes people be more grateful for having someone in their life to share it with.

Of Mice and Men Loneliness Essay

Have you ever felt lonely or isolated from the world around you? Loneliness is a devastating feeling you can experience. In the story, Of Mice of Men loneliness is a frequent theme. Throughout the story, we see character’s experience this dramatic dilemma.

Crooks is a black man who is not appreciated by the others. This caused a divide between them, so now crooks have nobody for him to: speak to, lean on and depend on. This caused crooks to feel as if he was alone. Candy is another representative of loneliness. In the story candy only friend, his dog, dies. He mopes for hours and seems to be secluded from the world. He accompanied himself with that dog, therefore, he had nobody to speak with either. Curley’s wife is another example. Throughout the story, she tried to find people to speak with but was ignored and hated upon by the others. Loneliness is an experience that changes people’s lives to the most catastrophic circumstances.Crooks biggest issue was racism. The owner separated him from each other by putting him inside a barn. Feeling like an outcast, Crooks replaced his social life with books. When talking to Lenny he said that Books aint no good, and A guy needs somebody to be near him. A guy goes nuts when he aint got nobody pg 72. Since he was the only black within the ranch, he was treated as if he didn’t deserve what the others did. With Crooks striving to make friends shows how lonely he was. It also showed us that his decisions are based on that emotion. Loneliness had a strong effect on crooks life.Candy was one of the oldest in the story that lost his right arm is in the book.

He was looked down upon because of his disabilities and soon was left alone because of them. He had no family, or friends besides his champion dog that was growing old alongside him. His dog used to be a great tool, but as the dog became older, Candy realized he didn’t need a helpful dog but one to accompany him. Many people disagreed with Candy keeping the dog. This ended with the dog being shot by Carlson. Because of this action Candyr’s loneliness greater, or you could say that his hole for loneliness got bigger. Candy finally realized that if his dog got shot down for not being a productive worker, the same thing will happen to him. He tells George that Jus as soon as I cant swamp out no bunkhouses theyll put me on the county (Steinbeck 60). To deal with his demise of getting thrown out, Candy becomes quickly interested in George and Lennier’s big dream. He offers a total of $350 towards the dream farm. This dream meant a lot to candy even after what happened to Lennie. He asked George if they could still pull off the deal. The farm is his only way to get rid of his phobia of loneliness. This loneliness gave candy a drive to achieve happiness but failed in the process, and therefore affected his decisions dramatically.Curleyr’s wife was affected by the actions of those around. Her behaviour throughout the book resulted in discrimination and harassment from the workers. She was called a tramp pg 32, and other horrible names. She felt powerless and lonely. The only person that would kind of listen was Lennie. Her moments with Lennie in the barn before she died, she finally felt like she was listened to. She confessed that I don like Curley. He aint a nice fella pg 89.

She only married Curly so she could get away from her mother. This shows that her whole life has been the adventure of an outcast. She never was accepted by anybody promoting the feeling of loneliness. Loneliness is a stone cold feeling that many have experienced. In the story, loneliness is almost depicted as the normal everyday life of people. The characters within the story all show how this feeling can lead their future to unfortunate events. Crooks the black man gave up on friendship and replaced them all with books. Even though books are what he got it wasn’t truly what he desired. He couldn’t achieve his goal of friendship because of loneliness. Candy is the old man with the dog. After his dog’s death, he had nobody to interact with. He started to pursue Lennie and George’s dreams but was cut off by the end of Lennie, stopping his dreams from coming true throwing him into the deepest loneliness he has ever felt. Curley’s wife throughout the story she tried to find people to speak with but was ignored and hated upon by the others, once somebody finally listened she ended up dying because of her search of society. Loneliness is a major experience that changes people’s lives to the most catastrophic circumstances.

The Development of Freedom and Confinement in Of Mice and Men

The characters are confined by their circumstances, or by their identity, with the theme of one is never truly free.

Throughout the story, Steinbeck uses Curleyr’s Wife to show how being a woman confines her, and makes her feel lonely shown best by her interactions with Lennie. One of the first times this is displayed, is the reader gets a real interaction with her, and finally learns more about her, when she says, You bindle bums think youre so damn good. Whatta ya think I am, a kid? I tell ya I could of went with shows(Steinbeck 78). This shows that she regrets not going with ?one of the shows because she had opportunities there, where she doesnt have those opportunities on the ranch. Everyone treats her poorly, and unfairly because they dont want to get in trouble for talking to the boss daughter in law and she realizes that she probably couldve lived a better life, had she not married Curley. She had wanted to escape a life where she was confined by her mother, and ended up confined by her new life. Throughout the book Steinbeck continues this theme, through Curleyr’s Wife, however it is most prevalent when she herself points it out by saying,Why cant I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.(Steinbeck 86) She implies that she isnt allowed to talk to anyone, and states blatantly that sher’s lonely. This shows that the men confine her, that how independent she is allowed to be depends on Curley, and the other men in the bunkhouse. Soon after this, when Lennie still refuses to talk to her, Steinbeck says,Her face grew angry. Whar’s the matter with me? she cried. ?Aint I got a right to talk to nobody?(87) Sher’s upset that whor’s supposed to be the nicest guy on the ranch, still wont talk to her. She talks about her right to talk to people and how no one lets her exercise those rights. She suggests that her right to talk to others has been taken away from her and just wants to know why, and if she has something to do with it. This shows that no matter how hard she tries, the men in the bunkhouse will always push her into a life of loneliness, just because sher’s married to Curley. Being Curleyr’s Wife confines her to loneliness, a loneliness caused by her lack of freedom.

Furthermore, the character Crooks also plays a role in illustrating freedom and confinement, due to being segregated from everyone, because of his race. This is best shown through his one of his first conversations with Lennie,I aint wanted in the bunkhouse, and you aint wanted in my room. ?Why aint you wanted? Lennie asked. ?Cause Im black.(Steinbeck 68) This quote shows that he is so used to being isolated, that he wont accept someone actually trying to talk to him. Her’s so focused on what others have shown him, that he just assumes nothing good will come from Lennie coming into his room. He says he isnt wanted in the bunkhouse, meaning that others have forced him into being lonely. Also depicting that the only reason her’s so isolated, is because of the color of his skin, that being born black is what confines him. Soon after this interaction, Crooks finally begins to accept Lennie being in his room, shown by Steinbeck saying,Come on in and set a while, Crooks said His tone was a little more friendly.(69) which shows that he was getting comfortable with the idea of having company. By saying his tone became a bit more friendly it can be interpreted that he was just glad to have a friend, or at least someone to talk to, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. Steinbeck continues the theme of freedom and confinement through Crooks later on when he says,It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger.(75) This shows once again that he was just happy to have company. The idea that he wasnt going to be as isolated with Lennie around, was slowly becoming a reality, a reality that would soon be taken away from him. Crooks life seems to have the theme of getting things taken away from him, specifically his basic human rights. Throughout Of Mice and Men it is clear that Crooks cant do much, and just doesnt do much, for the fear of getting things taken from him. Crooks is forced into a life of solitude, because his freedom is dictated by anyone else whor’s not black.

Similarly, both George also plays a role in developing the theme of being confined my oner’s circumstances, displayed through his confinement caused by money and various interactions with Lennie from the beginning to the end of Of Mice and Men. The first instance that it is shown that their freedom is going to be taken away is at the very beginning of the book when George says,Tomorra were gonna go to work Tonight Im gonna lay right here and look up. I like it.(Steinbeck 8) George says this when they are laying outside in the brush, illustrating that he just wants to look up at the stars for as long as he can. He knows that hell be working long hours soon, and his only desire is just to look up at the stars, before he has to go to a confining job in the morning. They will be confined by their money circumstances for a while before they have saved up enough money to buy their own land. George continues to describe the freedom theyll have once they accomplish their dreams by saying, An itd be our own, an nobody could can us.(Steinbeck 58) He displays his desire to not have to be worried about Lennie doing something to get them thrown in jail. George longs to have the freedom of allowing Lennie to have his independence. George continues to describe their aspiration when he says, r’spose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing Wed just go to her We wouldnt ask nobody if we could. (Steinbeck 61) George is describing vividly what they will be able to do when they have their independence, and is beginning to realize that all of their hopes and dreams might actually become a reality. At this point he has an inclination to dream about the possibilities for the future, to devote his time to thinking about all of the freedom hell have. All he wants to do is be free of worry about Lennie, and even free from their money troubles. George almost seems tired of looking out for Lennie, he seems just to feel confined to the job of being his ?caretaker. He is confined by his need to help accomplish their dream, all in order for Lennie to be independent allowing for George to have some freedom.

A Different Form of Tragedy: Critical Analysis of Of Mice and Men

Thomas Scarseth, the author of the examination A Teachable Good Book: Of Mice and Men, is correct in saying that Steinbeckr’s Of Mice and Men is a tragedy. Yet it is not a tragedy in the classic Aristotelian or Shakespearean sense, which Scarseth states. The majority of the characters in the novel are in stasis.

The world is limited around them and results in minimal possibilities, and the lack of love and friendship both contribute to them being stuck. J.A. Cuddon, the late English teacher and author, defined tragedy in saying, the overwhelming part about tragedy is the element of hopelessness, of inevitability…the greater the person, so it seems, the more acute is their tragedy (Cuddon). Yet this acute tragedy is found when the lowliest of lowly exploited people fail to become anything more. The characters in Of Mice and Men are inevitably lead to disappointment, for many reasons, including their social status, job, and even the time period, which plays a part in their struggles. A release from this struggle is hopeless. The tragedy that the characters are a part of results in them being one archetype of being in stasis, and this is due to the constraints the characters have and the lack of love and friendship around them.

The struggle of limitation and constraint is a clear message that Steinbeck portrays through many of the characters. Scarseth is quick to notice and comment on this theme, though he only discusses the explicitly mentioned limited characters. Curley, as Scarseth mentions, is limited: Curley doesnt know how to hold on to what he finds important: his young wife, his status as the Bossr’s son, his reputation as a man [his] aim to be a respected husband/boss/man is foiled by his own limited abilities (Scarseth). Curley is stuck in his place. He, on paper, has the most power on the ranch compared to most of the other men. He is the boss son, rich, is able to boast that his wife is …a sex object, a status symbol (Scarseth), but he is lost. His aggressiveness and his unforgiving attitude on life and people around him puts him into the same cycle of anger. Curleyr’s wife, one of the most marginalized characters, evident by the name she is called and her gender, is also brought up by Scarseth. She is a lost little girl in a world of men whose knowledge of women is largely limited (Scarseth). She is called names, teased, and has no power, and is limited due to Curley. Scarseth also writes about George, Lennie, and their struggle, saying …[the] aim of Lennie and George to have a small place…is doomed to frustration also by their own limitations (Scarseth). Lennie, being his poor dumb big (Scarseth) self cannot have his dream with George come true. His disability limits this. However, Scarseth doesnt bring up the fact other characters can be limited, such as Slim. Slim is described as having God-Like eyes, (Steinbeck 40), he is the prince of the ranch (Steinbeck 33); his opinions were law (Steinbeck 45). Everyone respects Slim and considers him the highest in ranking. But why isnt he the boss? Slim is exploited like the rest of the workers. He doesnt have power in the outside world, and all he is able to achieve is making Curley tell everyone his hand was hurt in the machine. Holding positions of power dont always equate to being unlimited. Slim is stuck in his routine; he earns his money, then at the end of the month blows it all, and starts the cycle over again. Scarseth puts Slimr’s troubles into words perfectly: The man who could lead well does not have the position; the one who has the position and authority is not the leader (Scarseth). The tragedy in the novel is due to the characters inability to improve or succeed because of their limitations, which brings them into the positions they are stuck in.

In addition to the limits of the characters, friendship, love, and themes of dreams (Scarseth) are all mentioned in Scarsethr’s analysis. He argues that they are what Of Mice and Men is all about. But there are few friendships or expressions of love in the novel, so this cannot be true. George and Lennie have the only friendly relationship in the novel, but the love isnt completely mutual or true. The codependency of it is beneficial to Lennie alone. George helps keep him alive. There is no emotion or loving support, no attachment is present. This is emphasized when George explodes and says …if I was alone I could live so easy…you keep me in hot water all the time (Steinbeck 11) and calls Lennie names. Scarseth also mentions that George and Lennie as friends share a good dream (Scarseth). However, this goal isnt good, nor attainable. If their relationship isnt a two-sided one, this dream could never come true or be possible in their limited world, and George comes to learn this. George, because of the his burden of Lennie, his job, and lack of friendship and support that he has, is destined to become just like Slim. He will earn his pay, then he will blow it at the end of the month, like he does when the workers go to the whorehouse at the end of the week. He is going to be stuck, and Lennie puts him in that position. The men in the bunkhouse with George and Lennie share no intimacy either; their relationships consist of working, sleeping, and getting by day by day. The only example of a connection between them is when the men go to the whorehouse and play cards, but there still is no friendship present. Love is also missing between Curley and his wife. They demonstrate no care for each other or share a bond aside from the rings on their fingers. Curley uses his wife, labeled as his, for sexual pleasure and boasting. In turn, she is lonely. She would like to talk to somebody ever once in a while (Steinbeck 77). With no one to turn to and confide in, the characters are limited in themselves because of this lack of love, and this limits their development.

Finally, Scarseth observes that Steinbeck creates simple yet significant (Scarseth) characters that are archetypes. The fact that they are an archetype is true, yet Scarseth fails to discuss that the characters are all very similar, and in fact, they share a single archetype. He first mentions Candy, the old, one-armed worker with no place to go, as useless as his toothless dog; there is Carlson, gruffly and delibritaly unfeeling…and there is Crooks, the dignified proud and aloof but…victim of racial discrimination. There is Slim, calm, reasonable…the real leader…And there is Curley, the arrogant but inept Boss son (Scarseth). These characters represent common social issues and topics that the reader can connect with in their life, which is what archetypes are. These problems, such as racial discrimination and loneliness can be found anywhere. Scarseth, however, does not connect the archetypal characters to the other themes he presents, nor does he address the fact that they are all similar, due to those themes. These archetypes are all constrained, as mentioned earlier, for many different reasons. ADD QUOTE FROM STEINBECK! The characters are one archetype, one kind of person despite their differences: they are tragic people who cannot change. Yes, the characters have their own conflicts and personal struggles, but they are the same. Their restrictions and the scarcity of love around them causes their shared tragic fate, and this results in the characters sharing a single archetype.

The fact that the book is a tragedy, yet not in the classic sense, is a direct result of characters representing one archetype; people being in stasis. This is due to the limitations the characters have and the lack of love and friendship. Time and time again the characters fall into despair. But both Scarseth and Steinbeck are trying to prove the same point: tragedy can befall any man or any woman, and Of Mice and Men is a tragedy. The greatest tragedy is when people who are not great become consumed by their struggles. Steinbeck shows this through many different issues with society: racism, sexism, mistreatment of the mentally disabled, and even just with farm workers and their exploitation. They become in stasis. Anyone, even the lower classes or people of society can experience tragedy. In Of Mice and Men, it is due to their limitations and the worldr’s limitations and the reality that there is no love and friendship. This is shown with the archetype that the characters represent. Steinbeck himself provides the thought that represents the tragedy of the novel best: Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. Itr’s just in their head. Theyre all the time talkin about it, but itr’s jus in their head (Steinbeck 74).

Works Cited

Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books, 2000.

Scarseth, Thomas. A Teachable Good Book: Of Mice and Men. Censored Books: Critical Viewpoints, edited by Nicholas J. Karolides, Lee Burress, and John M. Kean.
Scarecrow Press, 1993. pp. 388-94.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books, 1994. Print.