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John Steinbeck Outline

By deanqian Mar 09, 2009 808 Words
As demonstrated in four of Steinbeck's works, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, “The Chrysanthemums”, and “The Leader of the People”, his characters' dreams and aspirations fail as forces beyond their control work to constrain them. i. Introduction

ii. Of Mice and Men
a. George and Lennie are opposites; George is smart, Lennie is extremely strong. b. George tries to keep Lennie, who is mentally disabled, under supervision at all times c. Lennie doesn't recognize his strength.

d. “ “Don't you go yellin' ”, he said and he shook her and her body flopped like a fish... she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck... “I didn't want to hurt you... I done another bad thing.” ” e. George must kill Lennie, resulting in death of best friend, as well as their dream. f. “Of Mice and Men has also been perceived as the embodiment of a non-teleological philosophy according to which events are beyond humakind's comprehension and control; despite the efforts of George and Lennie their plans fail...” g. Despite all his efforts George could never totally control Lennie, and as a result, their dream fails. iii. The Pearl

a. Kino finds the “...greatest pearl in the world.”
b. Ugly side of humanity brought out of humans in presence of pearl, in forms of greed, ambition and violence. c. “Every man suddenly became related to Kino's pearl... and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino... he became curiously every man's enemy.” d. Kino expected so much from the pearl, but then is crushed when pearl buyers reveal to him it is worth next to nothing. e. No one, not even Kino, can control their inner evil.

f. Kino realizes pearl has ruined his and his family's life, and tosses it back into the ocean. g. Kino was blinded by his unexpected wealth, and couldn't subdue his demons, much less those of others; his dream could never triumph. iv. “The Chrysanthemums”

a. Elisa Allen, a woman, isolated in a man's world, tries to hide her femininity to attain equality. b. She finds satisfaction in taking care of her chrysanthemums. c. Her garden has the same qualities as she does.

d. Tinker comes by, ends up shattering her façade.
e. “ “I'm sorry,” Elisa said irritably. “I haven't anything for you to do.” His eyes left her face and fell to searching the ground. They roamed about until they came to the chrysanthemum bed... “What's them plants, ma'am?” The irritation and resistance melted from Elisa's face.” f. Elisa gives tinker her chrysanthemums, her heart, but he really doesn't care for them, as he is after her money. g. The tinker “threw away” her heart, the flowers, and only kept the useful part, her body, the pot. h. Elisa fails in her pursuit of being equal, as she would always remain a woman. v. “The Leader of the People”

a. Jody and his grandfather want to relive “westering”.
b. Grandfather retells stories of the western movement, to relive his glory days. c. Carl Tifflin rants about how annoyed he is with Grandfather telling the same stories repeatedly, but apologizes when he finds out Grandfather overheard him. d. Grandfather has been crushed by Carl's speech and realizes he really doesn't want to tell his stories. e. Jody tells Grandfather one day he will lead the people, but is shot down when he is told there is nowhere to go. f. Grandfather and Jody have realized that their dreams are dead, as reality makes it impossible to go back in time and relive the western movement. vi. Conclusion

a. All of Steinbeck's characters have a fatal flaw in their plans which prevents them from succeeding. b. George, of Of Mice and Men, couldn't change Lennie's mental health, and therefore never had total control of him. c. Kino, of The Pearl, was oblivious to the fact that the worst is brought out of humans when they see someone better off over themselves. d. Elisa Allen, of “The Chrysanthemums”, molded herself to who she wanted to be but she could never erase who she really was. e. Jody and Grandfather, of “The Leader of People” could not alter reality, and bring back “westering”. f. Steinbeck related all four stories to the Great Depression, as his characters' couldn't make everything go their way, just as the American people couldn't control the economy during the depression. g. Steinbeck wanted to tell people that some things in life just aren't in our hands, and we can only let life run it's course, going where it wants us to go. h. The only way to succeed in life is to push through our problems and come out a better person.

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