31 October 2010
Of Mice and Men Literary Analysis There are many issues which John Steinbeck addresses in his novel Of Mice and Men, such as discrimination towards minorities such as blacks, women, and the disabled. Many of these are being steadily being resolved up to today, though, there is still one thing rooted into our minds that still persists today; the predatory nature of human beings. Of Mice and Men takes place in Soledad, California. It tells the story of two men, Lennie Small, a stout and mentally challenged, but well meaning person and George Milton, Lennie’s guardian and long time companion. They seek to someday own a small ranch of their own. Tragically, their dream is shattered when Lennie accidentally kills a young woman, Curley’s wife. George then murders Lennie in cold blood. The theme of predatory nature and violence in this novel is expressed by symbolism and foreshadowing. One way the theme is expressed in Of Mice and Men was through foreshadowing. ‘” I’ll try to catch him,” said Curley. His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed at the fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously. Curley stepped gingerly close to him. “You the new guys the old man was waitin’ [sic] for? ‘’’ (Steinbeck 27-28). From George and Lennie’s first encounter with Curley, you can infer Curley is a violent man. You can also tell that conflict will arise later in the events of the novel due to his behavior. Also, if you imagine life on a ranch, it conjures up images of tough, manly cowboys riding off into the sunset. Stereotypes like that could arguably be one of the factors that encourage a violent environment, especially one full of men. Another way...