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In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck presents a society entirely dominated by the idea of capitalism. Explore the novel in the light of this statement.

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Introduction

?In ?Of Mice and Men?, Steinbeck presents a society entirely dominated by the idea of capitalism.? Explore the novel in the light of this statement. America in the 1930s- completely torn at the hinges, socially, economically and politically. This was of course, the monumental Great Depression. Steinbeck took great inspiration from this period, spending time with a group of migrant workers exiled by the Dust Bowl for a San Francisco News series. He felt passionately about the in just of this situation, "They are men who have worked hard on their own farms and have felt the pride of possessing and living in close touch with the land.? From this, we can see the links between his experiences, and those within the ranch in the novel. ...read more.

Middle

The simplicity of the description makes the characters immersed in it in turn seem incredibly simple and soulless. Regime and conformity is reinforced by ?rectangular?, making the habitat seem clinical, boxed?inescapable, full of these sharp, shape like obstacles which the capitalist government use to keep the proletariat moving up to try and climb over them- but they can?t, instead fall head first, then starting the cycle again. Alliteration in ?walls were whitewashed? create a quavering like phonology- devoid of passion and spirit, mirror the atmosphere of the bunk house. ?Eight? and ?five? suggest a place that is mostly concerned with numbers, with branding and monitoring, symbolizing America as a whole at this time- which was consumed by power and money. ...read more.

Conclusion

Two obvious comparisons are the alliteration in ?walls were whitewashed? in Chapter Two, and ?water is warm?, producing a soothing, open ambience that is care-free and sensual. Karl Marx?s opinion was that class system is a social construct?there is nothing natural about it, ?The representation of private interests ... abolishes all natural and spiritual distinctions by enthroning in their stead the immoral, irrational and soulless abstraction of a particular material object and a particular consciousness which is slavishly subordinated to this object.? Throughout the novel there is a theme of nature vs. manmade- natural equates to freedom, no rules or stress, and manmade symbolizes restriction, control and diminishing one another. To Lenny especially, the drastic transition from the Brush, surrounded by luscious mountains and space, to the bunk house?a cramped, bleak dungeon?Lenny finally has a taste of reality- something he hasn?t yet been confronted with. ...read more.

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