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Analysis of the theme of power in Of Mice and Men

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men Essay ?Of Mice and Men? is the fictional short novel written by John Steinbeck in 1937. Steinbeck?s perspective when writing the novel could be based on the fact that he had once worked on a ranch and had a certain fascination about it. The novel is set in 1930s America and this can be seen as the cause of the very enduring culmination that takes place in the novel due to the many problems that would be evident at the time such as the Great Depression. In this essay I will be exploring how Steinbeck present power in Chapter Four and how it relates to the rest of ?Of Mice and Men?. Power can be seen as the catalyst that the novel revolves around but also the root from where all problems arise, in the novel. The pursuit of power and the disempowerment of characters in the novel are all brought upon by the many themes that were evident in the novel due to its context. Power becomes very significant in Chapter Four as power is given to characters in this chapter as well as taken away very swiftly. ...read more.

Middle

Crooks explains how unfair society has been on him just because of his race and how he is now lonely with nobody to talk to. Crooks then enquires ?S?pose George don?t come back no more?. He uses this upper hand he has over Lennie to gain some empathy (even though it was forced) from him. This point Crooks makes also discloses another reason why Crooks was so reluctant to let Lennie into his room. Being so lonely has made him so bitter unwilling to allow others to join him, as he has been done by others. Crooks? provocative use of his intellectual power over Lennie has backfired and Lennie sees past it being an example and believes Crooks? words to be real. Lennie says interrogatingly to Crooks ?Who hurt George??. Lennie has been described earlier on in the novel as an animal and Crooks sees what causes such a description and averts the threat that approaches him, avoiding any chance of trouble. Crooks is completely disempowered unlike just moments before. The amount of power he had was now being measures on a completely different scale. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example of the corrosive effects loneliness can have on you is how Curley?s wife brings forth the corrupting power of women in the novel. She does this by saying ?Listen Nigger?I could get you strung up a tree so fast it ain?t even funny?. The point she is making here is that even though Crooks is wiser and older I she says that he abused her he could get lynched just because of the fact that he is black and she is the boss? son?s wife. Through the exploration of power used in Chapter Four and throughout the novel I think that Steinbeck is telling us that power in the 1930s and Great Depression was source of all that?s good, but could also be one?s downfall. I believe that Steinbeck has shown his message very well as he has shown how all sorts of power can benefit a person, but also bring problems which will leave them powerless in the end. I also believe that lessons learnt in the novel can be applied to all places and all times as there will always be someone with more privileges and power and someone with less. ...read more.

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