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

“Ranch hand” or “Cowboy”

Extracts from this document...


"Ranch hand" or "Cowboy" We have all heard the old legends or read the books and even watched the films of historical cowboys. You know, the Clint Eastwood and "well do ya feel lucky..." I understand that ranch hands, like the ones from the famous books by John Steinbeck, are the modern cowboys? Cowboys were not real; they are a certain stereotype. A stereotype is a generalisation of a certain race, culture or creed. For example "all this certain race are say, thieves or all this race will dislike any one from this race." A cowboy's stereotype is a hero. He "upholds the law" by bending it and "protects the innocent" by killing the bad. They are lonely travellers but survive by doing good and by trying to create a better person of himself. A cowboy has a strong will power to endure. They all have dreams but the main factor about them is they seem not to have any feelings. A dream is another term for wants, needs and longings. Every one has dreams, even these cowboy heroes poses dreams. They are constantly in the cold with stone valiant personalities and it is as if they have been hardened by their own countless experiences. If the hero/cowboy does have a sidekick then the sidekicks are mostly juvenile and have not had many experiences. ...read more.


Notice how he describes all of the belongings of the occupant of the bunk, in particular detail. He mentions stuff like soap and razors to the reader; this is to maybe show how the ranch hands are trying their greatest to show the world that they aren't just some ranch hand scruffs. To portray that they are real people "they're not just workers and do have a life off the fields". He mentions "western magazines" "...ranch men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe." This is a strong element Steinbeck is trying to make. What I consider he is trying to say is how the ranch hands believe and also fantasise about being in the shoes of a western cowboy hero. Maybe he is trying to say how the ranch hands are cowboys, but I will come back to this point later. "And there were medicines on the shelves, and little vials, combs; and, from nails on the box sides, a few neckties." See there again, he mentions things like medicines, combs and neckties. This is also trying to say how they try to restrain them selves from deteriorating physically as well as mentally. Also how they at least try to make them selves look respectable and orderly. Also by mentioning minor everyday things to us, they appear important to the ranch hands. ...read more.


It lies in their hard work and bloodshed to make the country what it is now. Not trying to make up a history, but he's asking to look at the one they already have. All of Steinbeck's characters fall into the cast of this stereotype but yet are still individual. John created them ideally, otherwise if he didn't create them like this; he would not have been able to make his world seem so genuine and undeniable to life. I feel that Steinbeck was trying to underline a piece of America history, and put though his message to the reader. He did this because he is a socialist writer and believes strongly about equal opportunities. So if people feel that the history of America lies in John Steinbeck's books, they might think about the present and try to make changes to the whole system. So there it is the cowboys and ranch hands explained they are both very similar stereotypes, yet they do have their differences. The difference is that ranch hands are the real historical cowboys. But due to the ignorance of the common American the ranch hands want to become more like the Hollywood cowboys. Also there's the fact that the ranch hands in "of Mice and Men" (George and Lennie) do not achieve their dreams yet cowboy stories always have a "good ending". By making this contrast Stinebeck can demonstrate that the "American dream" is unattainable and a deceiving idea. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. Explore John Steinbeck's presentation in Of Mice and Men of the culture and experience ...

    Steinbeck clearly shows that predictably, something is going to happen at the end; we see this as the deaths increase and happen to higher people in the table of hierarchy. It shows that death was a large part of their lives, their lives were not memorable so they had nothing

  2. A breakdown of Steinbeck's 'Of mice and Men'.

    After George's private conversation with Slim, Lennie enters the bunk house and George immediately notices that Lennie has smuggled his new puppy in from the barn and is secretly petting it on his bunk. George makes him take it back, warning him that it's not good for the little puppy's health to be away from its nest, and Lennie leaves.

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