Conflict Presented in of Mice and Men

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  • Topic: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • Pages : 3 (1038 words )
  • Download(s) : 319
  • Published : November 7, 2012
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Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is set in America during the years of the Great Depression. The depression, that was caused by the Wall Street Crash 1929, left people without a job or house. People had barely enough money to afford necessities such as, food, water and clothes. The pressures of the Great Depression led to many different forms of conflict. Steinbeck shows a variety of these conflicts throughout the novella. 

One form of conflict shown in the novella is Jealousy. The fact that Lennie is a 'huge man', results in Curley's jealousy towards Lennie. While describing Curley, Slim says, 'He's alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he's mad at 'em because he aint a big guy'. This foreshadows the fight between Curley and Lennie in which Lennie crushes Curley's hand. The adjective 'mad' connotes the irrationality of Curley's simmering anger. Curley's covetousness towards Lennie's size represents that the world of Dust bowl America was a harsh and unforgiving place, where physical strength was especially valuable. The adjective 'mad' has specific connotations which is why, Steinbeck chooses to use 'mad' rather than a word such as, angry to maybe suggest that Curley is slightly insane for picking fights with men considerably bigger and most likely stronger than him. 'Mad' also means that Curley is simply angry towards taller men because he envies them. This description of Curley makes the reader think of Curley as an insecure person as, the description shows that he feels inferior because of his diminutive stature. 

Resentment is also shown in scenes of conflict. George shows resentment towards Lennie as a consequence of Lennie losing him his job; that is so significant to achieving his desires. George says, 'I got you! You can't keep a job and you lose me ever' job I get.' The repetition of the word 'you' demonstrates that George sees Lennie as the cause of the conflict and as the person who endangers his chances of achieving his dreams. The...
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