English III AP
30 October 2013
Of Mice and Men and The Scarlet Letter
Of Mice and Men’s George and The Scarlet Letter’s Hester Prynne the main characters in these two novels. Both are misunderstood by the people around them. Of Mice and Men was written in 1937 by John Steinbeck to show the most vulnerable people in society at that time. The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850 to illustrate the way of life for the Puritan society and the way some were punished or misunderstood due to not following the Puritan ways. In Of Mice and Men and The Scarlet Letter Steinbeck and Hawthorne share a common theme between the two novels. By comparing and contrasting the characters, setting, and conflicts it is illustrated that people are being out casted by society because they have committed crimes throughout the novels. While comparing and contrasting George from Of Mice and Men and Hester from The Scarlet Letter, one will discover they have many similarities and differences. This proves why and or how these characters are mistreated and out casted by the society they live in. For examples of similarities George and Hester both had burdens to deal with as well as being out casted by the people they love and they protect. George and Hester also both planned ways to escape their lives. George tells Lennie countless time in the first chapters in Of Mice and Men how “[he] could get along so easy and so nice if he didn’t have [him] on [his] tail” stating that George knows his life would be much easier if he did not have Lennie to take care of (Steinbeck 7). George is out casted by Lennie in many ways such as, George being run “outta Weed” due to the bad things Lennie did (Steinbeck 7). Although, George could have turned Lennie in for what he did in weed he wanted to protect him so, George had no choice but to leave with Lennie and hide in the woods until they ran far enough to find another job and place to stay. George was forced to shoot Lennie at the end of Of Mice and Men to protect him from being tortured by Curley and the rest of the men. George tells Lennie “Ever’body gonna be nice to [him],” and that “[he] ain’t gonna be in no trouble. No body hurt…nor steal from ‘em,” to make Lennie think everything will be fine (Steinbeck 106). Before George had to kill Lennie he put the idea of a “little house and a couple of acres,” in Lennie’s head where they could live and, Lennie could not get into any trouble (Steinbeck 14). After George has to kill Lennie he discovers this dream will never become a reality for him. Like George, Hester in The Scarlet Letter has many burdens of her own. After she is given her punishment for adultery by “reveal[ing] the scarlet letter on her breast” she is forced of carrying the burden of hiding Dimmesdale’s identity from all the other townspeople, and hiding Chillingworth identity from Dimmesdale and the rest of the town. (Hawthorne 52). When Dimmesdale does not reveal who he is in front of everyone when he has the chance he is forcing Hester and Pearl to be the outcast of the town. No one wants to be caught talking to the sinner of the town, so Hester is forced to be all alone. She and Pearl live in a “lonesome dwelling” outside of the town “without a friend” Hester only has Pearl to be in her company (Hawthorne 54). At the ending of the novel Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the forest to talk. There they plan to have a “brief journey [that] would bring [them] from a world were [they] have been most wretched, to one were [they] [may] still be happy” (Hawthorne 132). The two plan to get aboard a boat, sail to England and be a happy family. The differences in these two novels are that George decides to take care of his burden as to where Hester has no choice whether she could keep hers or not. George and Hester both handle things very differently in some situations. By seeing these differences we learn that George has a stronger character and is dealing with his situation as to where...
Cited: Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2000. Print.
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.
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