Of Mice and Men

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 5 (2252 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Of Mice and Men Essay
Compare the episodes in which Candy’s dog and Lennie die. How has Steinbeck made these events effective for the reader?

John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California on February 27, 1902. He worked as a farm labourer on ranches from 1919 to 1926. This experience has influenced the setting of the novella Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck met someone like Lennie Small which obviously provided Lennie’s character. I am going to compare the events in which Candy’s dog and Lennie die in the novella. I will also talk about how John Steinbeck made the events effective for the reader. There are several themes in the novella Of Mice and Men. These are loyalty, friendship, loneliness and isolation, dreams of something better and the hostile economic environment. I will be focusing on three themes the hostile environment, friendship and loneliness. The novella Of Mice and Men is based in California during the period of economic depression in the 1930s. The main characters are George Milton and Lennie Small, they are amazingly good friends and travel California looking for different jobs. One of the themes in the novel is friendship. George and Lennie have a very strong friendship. The main focus of the novella in George, Lennie and their friendship. George relies on Lennie for companionship so he doesn’t feel lonely. George is smart and small while Lennie is big and simple. Being mentally immature makes Lennie also reliant on George to keep him safe and alive. Friendship was very important for itinerant workers in America in the 1930s because being moved around a lot for work makes it hard for them to have a family. Having a friend with them prevents them from getting lonely and maybe going insane. George and Lennie have a complicated and reliant relationship. While Lennie is a grown man, he has the mind of a toddler. We know this because in chapter 2 on page 44 George says “He’s awright. Just aint bright.” Lennie trusts George not to abandon him as he says “George wouldn’t do nothing like that. I been with George a long time. He’ll come back tonight…” when Crook was questioning him about his George’s loyalty. George takes care of Lennie. When Aunt Clara was dieing she asked George to look after Lennie, we know this because Georges says “I told his old lady I’d take care of him.” George feels that Lennie is his responsibility and that Lennie always gets him in trouble. For example, Lennie and George had to run away because Lennie touched this woman’s dress and almost got them killed, this shows that George has to keep Lennie out of trouble. Lennie and George’s relationship is seen as a reliant relationship by the reader because Lennie relies on George for everything. For example, when Lennie and Curly were going to fight even though Lennie is big and strong he still had to ask George for permission to fight back. George relies on Lennie for companionship. For example when George and Slim were speaking he said, “It’s a lot nicer to go around with a guy you know,” this shows how he likes Lennie’s company. This is effective to the reader because no one would like to be lonely while travelling all around the country and we all rely on someone at some point in our lives. Candy is an old ranch helper. He has an old rheumatic dog. Candy has had that dog since it was a pup showing how loyal he and the dog are to each other. Loyalty is one of the themes in the novella Of Mice and Men. Candy’s dog was a sheep dog but now he is useless to everyone and even himself. Candy would get companionship from this dog. Even though the dog is getting older and more useless, Candy’s attitude hasn’t changed towards the dog. Candy and his dog’s relationship can be compared to Lennie and George’s relationship. Same as Candy’s dog relies on Candy so does Lennie rely on George with food, shelter and so forth. Lennie and Candy’s dog are both referred to as useless in the novella. This...
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