• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss How Steinkbeck uses Two of his Characters to Explore the Role of Power in the Novel

Extracts from this document...


Nicole Gooding 10e Discuss How Steinkbeck uses Two of his Characters to Explore the Role of Power in the Novel The two characters that I have chosen to examine for exploring the role of power in the novel are Slim and Curley. Slim is a highly skilled mule driver and the acknowledged "prince" of the ranch. Slim is both respected and admired by all of the men he works with. In the book it says that "Slim's opinion in law" and that "Slim don't need to wear no high-heeled boots" to say that he is superior over the others because that's how the men see him anyway. He is seen as the leader in the bunkhouse because his word is final, for example, Slim has the last word in the situation of whether to shoot Candy's dog or not. Unlike Curley, Slim is also kind and compassionate. He explains to Candy that it was cruel to keep his dog alive, suffering, and tries to console him by offering him a newborn puppy. ...read more.


The fact that Slim is very modest seems to make him even more powerful. The relationship between Slim and the men is symbiotic because he gives them as much respect as they give to him. "Carlson stepped back to let Slim precede him." This shows that the men are willing to let Slim go before them, because of the relationship that they have, and it appears to happen in a natural way. There is a big difference in the way that Slim and Curley use their power. Slim does not abuse the power he has, unlike Curley. Slim if fairly equal to the other men as he wears the same type of clothes, works hard and sleeps in the bunkhouse along with them. I think that this makes the men respect him more as he is one of them and does not see himself as superior to them. Curley wears boots to make himself stand out and does not work like the others do. ...read more.


We are told that Slim is a "hell of a nice fella" and the men feel that they can easily trust him. Slims trustworthiness in the eyes of the men can be seen in this quote:"You wouldn' tell? - no, course you wouldn'." In the novel I see Curley as a dictator figure because he is a bully who abuses the power that he is given. I think that Steinbeck is trying to say that if you abuse the power that you have, you will not be able to maintain it but you will end up loosing it all. This can be seen throughout the novel when Slim gives the men as much respect as they give him and therefore he is rewarded for the way he uses his power by maintaining his position of authority. However, Curley abuses his power and therefore he undermines the position he holds on the ranch. The novel hence presents itself as a moral tale that explores the uses and abuses of power and the effect that this has in society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level John Steinbeck essays

  1. Of Mice and Men: Alternative ending for the final chapter.

    could listen to every turn of the code-wheel inside the safes portly door. Slim looked down to his watch as he looked out of each window of the office in turn he saw it was getting quite early, the time was now twenty past four, the sun would be rising


    Steinbeck shows the reaction of various members of the town to the discovery of the great pearl: the beggars remember that a poor man becomes very generous when suddenly wealthy. The shopkeepers look at all the men's clothes that had not sold so well.

  1. of mice and men

    Candy comes into the bunkhouse now, followed by the other men who have finished their game of horseshoes. Carlson complains about how good the stable buck plays: "He don't give nobody else a chance to win--" Chapter 3, pg. 44.

  2. From your characters point of view, what do you think of the events which ...

    When I started on him I never thought about what he could do to my hand, he always was so quiet and looked like he could never hurt anything even though he was a big bastard. The look in his eyes when he just grabbed my hand, I had never

  1. Of Mice and Men - Full Summary and Analysis

    He hates big guys out of jealousy. He says that Curley is handy in a fight and that he goes after big guys because, if he loses, he can claim that the big guy was unfair. George warns Candy that Lennie is strong and doesn't know the rules of a fight.

  2. Of Mice And Men

    Once the decision was made, Slim told Carlson to bring a shovel with him so he could burry the dog after it is dead. This shows the nice side of Slim, but also being practical, on the other hand he is very cruel.

  1. How far do the values of Kino and Juana represent the culture of the ...

    They were made to believe that their remedies were inferior to those of the white when in most cases they were not. The corrupted values of the whites are seen when the doctor misuses his skills and knowledge to make the baby sick instead of curing him.

  2. Of Mice and men - Overall Plot.

    When the men hear the news they go into a sort of killing frenzy. When Carlson finds his gun missing, he reports this to Curley, and it is decided that there can be no mercy for Lennie since everyone assumes he has the gun.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work