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A Comparison of 'Of Mice & Men' and 'The Ostler'.

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Introduction

English Coursework #2 - A Comparison of 'Of Mice & Men' and 'The Ostler' For this essay I will be comparing the novel Of Mice & Men, by John Steinbeck, with The Ostler, a short story by Wilkie Collins. Of Mice & Men tells the story of George & Lennie, two men with an unusual friendship who dream of one day owning their own land. The Ostler tells the story of Isaac Scratchard, a Victorian man who suffers a terrifying dream in the middle of the night. Although both texts have different social and historical settings they share several themes which I will explore in my essay. Slim comments, - "its funny how you string him along...I hardly never seen guys travel together. George & Lennie's relationship in Of Mice and Men would have been considered strange during the time in which the book is set. Initially, several of those working at the ranch are suspicious of them, e.g. The boss accuses George of having a "stake" in Lennie, this can be seen when he says "I never seen one guy take so ...read more.

Middle

It would also seem that Lennie has a certain amount of difficulty expressing himself, something which would make him feel lonely. George can also be seen as being lonely. Although he has Lennie as a travelling companion, he has no one who he can really talk to, and no real female relationship. Crooks is also consumed by loneliness, cast out by the rest of the ranch workers because of his race, and his also on his own in that he is the only worker who is not in good physical condition, a partial cripple in a time when workers were valued on there ability to perform a task. Curley's wife is also lonely, although she has a relationship and is married to Curley; she is isolated from other women and still yearns for attention, and often tries to get it by dressing in a provocative manner. Ultimately, she is unable to lead type of life that she would like for herself, and it can be said that is her loneliness that eventually gets her killed, her longing for attention leads her to her fateful meeting with Lennie. ...read more.

Conclusion

The theme of Madness is used in both books, more prominently in The Ostler. In Of Mice & Men, as previously mentioned, many of the characters interpret Lennie's learning difficulties as madness. Although the reader is led to believe through the majority of the book that Lennie simply suffers from learning difficulties, Steinbeck is perhaps hinting at a problem with Lennie's mental state during a passage in which Lennie "talks" to a giant rabbit. In contrast, in The Ostler, Isaac himself believes at one point that he is going mad after first recognizing the similarities between Rebecca and the women in his dream. He can also be seen as mad towards the end of the book, where he has been reduced to a nervous wreck, sleeping all day so he can watch out for Rebecca, whom he believes is still trying to kill him, during the night Throughout Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck drops a number of hints as to what happens at the end of novel - Lennie's accidental killing of Curley's wife. ...read more.

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