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Compare two characters who you think are 'outsiders' - one from 'Of Mice and Men' and one from 'The Stolen Bacillus'

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Wider Reading Assessment Compare two characters who you think are 'outsiders' - one from 'Of Mice and Men' and one from 'The Stolen Bacillus' I am going to compare and contrast Crooks from 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck and the Anarchist from 'The Stolen Bacillus by H.G. Wells. They are both outsiders, these are people who are in some way different from the society in which they live. Both stories show the reactions of isolated people who are not socially accepted. Crooks is a Negro stable buck living in a racist 1930's America, in California. He has a small, but significant role in the story, his character tells us about the theme of racism. It acts like a vehicle thereby enabling Steinbeck to write about some of the conflicts in 1930's America. The Anarchist is one of the main characters in the Stolen Bacillus. It is set in the late 19th Century, in Victorian London, capital of the British Empire. Both Characters were victims of prejudice. Crooks being a black man, most people had bad racial attitudes towards him. Lennie and Candy didn't because they also suffered prejudice. The Anarchist hates the idea of rules in society. He looked differently from everyone else, like a ghost or skeleton. He suffered from being a social outcast; everyone looked down at him, showing a kind of idealogical prejudice. ...read more.


The characteristics of Crooks could have been different if he were a white man. He would possibly have less wrinkles, but more respect from the other men on the ranch. He wouldn't be abused, but will still be a self-indulgent stranger. The Stolen Bacillus, written in the late 19th Century, gives readers a brief insight into all the changes that happened. This story focuses on the recent leaps in the newfound branch of science, bacteriology (invented by Louis Pasteur in the late 1860's) Other great changes included mass industrialisation (a big change in how people lived) People started moving / living closer together, this is called urbanisation. People now worked in factories instead of farms. There were many problems due to this, examples being homelessness, increased crime, decreased hygiene and social injustice. Not everyone was treated equally. The people with the most money had the most power; they were higher in society - like American Capitalism. Amongst these people were the Anarchists. Diseases brought about from people living densely caused large amounts of pain and suffering. Advances in medicine enabled cures for Tuberculosis and smallpox. However, advances in technology meant people had the ability to create weapons of huge destruction. Anarchists wanted this power. They are constantly against monarchy and a democratically elected leader. They opted instead for a society based with no laws, where anarchy ruled. ...read more.


Stories like this are best sellers because people can relate to characters in the story. The theme of the story is based upon a bible teaching 'treat people how you want to be treated' The law stated that white and black are equal, but blacks were still treated differently - segregated. Crooks owns a tattered old Californian Civil Codes book, he knows his rights, but other people didn't obey them. On the ranch, things are harsher for him. Both writer's intentions were to bring about change by raising the reader's awareness of the real problems in society; thus both writers were social reformists. HG Wells in the Fabian Society and John Steinbeck writing proletarian literature. If educated people read either of these two stories at the time of publication, they could use their ability to make changes in society with their power. The stories are almost propaganda, like in news or television as they make the reader believe truly in what it is about. A story to be effective had to convey something from the writer to the reader, the two stories did just this. The writer's goal was to make a difference by their story; Steinbeck and HG Wells both achieved this. To conclude both characters are outsiders, not for the same reasons, but for what they were. If they lived in modern society they would be treated more equally. If the anarchist were found to do bad things, he would be punished, or reformed. ...read more.

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