Speech: Gilbert Grape of Mice and Men Adversity Comparative Study 15/15

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Good morning year 11 and teachers. My class has been studying the concept of 'Adversity' which is all about the hardship, misfortune and untoward conditions in a person's life. John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘What's eating Gilbert Grape’ a movie directed by Lasse Hallstrom both thoroughly examine the social and economic adversities which prevailed in their contexts.

‘Of Mice and Men’ is a novel which pursues the plight of two migratory workers who are looking for more work after the developmentally challenged Lennie gets them into trouble at the last job. The text is set in 1930s California during the depression, in a rural town with limited social and economic prospect. Steinbeck encourages the reader to empathise with the characters, which positions the reader to better understand the hardships faced in this context. A main feature of this text is the recurring motif of george and lennie's dream farm. The farm represents freedom from all the pair's current hardships, a place where they can be self sufficient, and free from the social constraints that exist due to lenny's disability. By including this dream farm, Steinbeck hopes to assist the reader in understanding the social attitudes towards disabilities. Another value that can be taken from the novel is the concept of the inauspicious outcomes for the carer of a person such as lennie. Through the use of a resentful tone, when george says “I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail.”, Steinbeck conveys to the reader, that George is unhappy with the strain looking after lennie puts on his life. The impact this has on the reader, is supposed to give understanding of the social and economic repercussion on the protector. 'Of mice and men' attemps to position the reader in ways so that they gain a full understanding of the concept of adversity, from the straight out nature of adversity, too the flow on effects of caring for a person who is in a state of affliction....
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