How is the theme of power presented in 'Of Mice and Men'

Topics: Of Mice and Men, Great Depression, John Steinbeck Pages: 3 (847 words) Published: November 20, 2013
(Introduction)
The theme of power in John Steinbeck’s novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ is omnipresent throughout the book and is presented in various guises; it first appears in the title. ‘Of Mice and Men’ refers to the 17th century poem ‘To a Mouse’, written by Robbie Burns, the poem says "the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a glay", meaning the best laid plans often go awry. This links to the novel as the characters that have dreams and plans to accomplish them, don’t achieve them. Here we see how both man are beast are powerless to their destinies. (Friendship)

During The Great Depression, itinerant workers didn’t usually build relations because there was so much competition for work and wherever they had work, it was temporary. Steinbeck recognised that this inability to connect with others and lay down roots enviably led to solitary life and/or a mean persona. This is portrayed through characters such as Candy and Carlson. Any evidence? However, set against social expectations of the period, George and Lennie’s relationship is seen as unusual because of the dependence they hold on each other and the rarity of friendship between people at the time. Lennie depends on George to make the correct decisions for the pair, while George depends on Lennie for companionship and setting him on the right track to achieving their dream. Without each other, they wouldn’t have a future. Additionally it is made evident by Steinbeck that almost all of the characters at the ranch are suffering in solitary and are in wanting of a friend. Crooks admits to Lennie “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody” because he’s so lonely and Curley’s wife admits she’s trapped in an unhappy marriage, “Sat’iday night. Ever’body! An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs”. However even at their lowest, these characters still feel the need to make those lower than them unhappy; this implies their loneliness is giving them the power to demote others. Perhaps...
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