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A comparison of Great expectations and Of Mice and Men.

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A comparison of Great expectations and Of Mice and Men. On the surface, the two texts, Great Expectations and Of Mice and Men, do not appear to have many similarities. However, if looked deeper into, it would seem to be the case that the underlying foundations of both stories are similar in many ways. In this essay I will consider the 1st chapter of each text, comparing them to each other and considering what effect the events that occur have on the remainder of the story. Charles Dickens wrote great Expectations in the pre Victorian era. It is set in England and tells the story of a young lower class boy's aspiration to become a gentleman, to win the heart of a beautiful, yet cold hearted, young lady Estella, who believe she is too good for him. This novel is extremely well written, introducing many ideas and storylines that seem parallel, which all come together wonderfully in the conclusion of the tale. Dickens also incorporates ideas of the corruption of the system of classes and how wealth can influence people's behaviour, and brings out there most unattractive traits. For example how Pip's behaviour towards Joe changed as he acquired more class and wealth. ...read more.


This was a period when work was scarce, and people travelled to find what little there was. These people were known as migrant workers, and the story is set around two such men called George and Lennie. The pair are physical opposites of each other, George being, 'small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features,' while Lennie is described as, 'a huge man, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders, and he walked heavily.' At the novels outset, Stienbeck goes to great length to familiarise us with the setting, using poetic imagery to describe the, 'golden foothill slopes,' of the Salinas River Valley. The two main characters are introduced, and there status almost immediately established. It is apparent who is in charge when George orders Lennie not to drink too much from the river, and how Lennie carefully imitates George's actions at the riverbank. As the chapter progresses, it is apparent that George becomes irritated by his companions forgetfulness and child like manner. George angrily discovers that Lennie has been concealing a dead mouse in his pocket, and his childishness is confirmed further with his justification, 'I could pet it with my thumb whilst we were walking along.' ...read more.


Pip has the prejudice that he is faced with being of a low class and having no money, whereas George has to deal with Lennie, and him being mentally retarded. Both of the opening chapters have a great impact on the rest of the story. In Great expectations Pip first encounters Magwitch, who turns out to be his secret benefactor, and the father of his beloved Estella. In Of Mice and Men, we are introduced to George and Lennie's dream, and how Lennie likes to pet soft things, which is important in understanding the conclusion of the book. The main similarities between the two texts, is that in both cases, there was a key event that changed the characters life. In both cases it was in the first chapter. In great expectations it was Pip meeting Magwitch that changed his life, and in Of Mice and Men it was Lennie being accused of assaulting the women in weed. Although that one text was pre Victorian and one contempary, it is interesting to see both texts investigate important issues, such as class and wealth and mental retardation, and how the authors have used the books to get there messages across. In both novels the characters start out with dreams and aspirations, but neither end in the way that was suggested at the beginning, and it seems the dreams were nothing but, 'Great expectations.' ...read more.

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