Of Mice and Men notes
Of Mice and Men was written by John Steinbeck in the 1930s. Steinbeck explored the life of migrant workers during this time and wrote the finding during his research in the novella. The novella also explores many social attitudes during this era. One of the workers on the ranch in the novella is Slim who is a jerkline skinner. Steinbeck uses Slim’s character in many different ways. “He is the god like and moved with majesty” people admire him. Lots of people respect him, more than Curley. Curley is given a high social status as he is the boss’s son. Slim is a jerkline skinner. Yet he still has a higher social status due to his personality. In this way Steinbeck uses him as a voice to portray the futile idea of aristocracy and the influence it has over society. Slim wins our hearts with her personality in which Steinbeck a bestowed on him. “There was a gravity in his manner… all talk stopped when he spoke.” The use of the word gravity implies Slims significance on the ranch. Gravity is the strong force that keeps all the planets together. This contrasts to Slims good relationship with the members on the ranch and his importance. Yet Curley is given the power, but even he listens to Slim after his fight. He connotes the cruel, harsh, injustice world where money creates the foundation of your image in society not the personality. Steinbeck also uses Slim as a symbol of the theme of masculinity in society. The reputation of 1920s America men was built upon the superficial idea of physical strength and ability. Steinbeck presents Curley with the ideal physical strength required in every stereotypical man. “He hates big guys. He’s alla time picking scraps with the big guys. Kind of like he’s mad at ‘em because he ain’t a big guy”. The introduction to Curley emphasises on his short temper and ability to fight. Immediately we are suspicious of Curley’s actions as the plot progresses. This suspicion is proved when Curley wants to shot...
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