Allegory - of Mice and Men

Topics: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Cowboy Pages: 4 (1293 words) Published: October 19, 2012
The Webster’s definition of an allegory is “the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence”, Steinbeck made his novel “Of Mice And Men” an allegory of the famous biblical story of Adel and Cain. Adel and Cain were the sons of Adam and Eve, whom were said to be there first people ever on earth. Adel and Cain both presented God with a gift, “Cain presented some of the land's produce as an offering to the [Him]” and “Abel presented…some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions”, God liked Abel’s gift more and so, out of jealousy, Cain led Abel to a field and killed him. As punishment, Cain was sentenced to be a restless wanderer on the earth and “whoever finds [him] will kill [him]”. This story is similar to Of Mice and Men in the belief that we are all descendants of Cain. The men on the ranch live life restlessly, always moving around and alone. This theme is carried further with the use of the letter “C”, and the lack of names with the letter “A”, in many of the names of main characters in the novel. The “C” symbolizing once again the connection the rancher’s lives have to the fate Cain was sentenced with. Slim’s name, curiously, does not begin or contain either letter. This could indicate that Slim’s position in the novel is one that is more “god like” than that of other ranchers. He is first described as extremely capable, that there was a “gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke”, “his authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject”, he “heard more than was said to him”, and had “understanding beyond thought”. Everyone in the ranch looks up to him, and respects him. God punished Cain and Abel’s parents, Adam and Eve, after eating the forbidden fruit with the task of having to work to make shelter, and having to work the land for food. This ties in with the setting of the story, as all the ranchers have to work the land in...
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