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Comparing and Contrasting The Conflict Scenes in "Great Expectations" and "Of Mice and Men".

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Introduction

Comparing and Contrasting The Conflict Scenes in "Great Expectations" and "Of Mice and Men" A major point in each of these films are the "fight" or conflict scenes and although they appear in different points in the story they still have an equally large effect on the main story line. In of Mice and Men this conflict between Curley and Lennie is really not cause by any major factors apart from the fact that Curley is a bully. He only chooses to pick on Lennie because he thinks he can win either way when picking on a big man, because if he wins he has won the fight, and if he looses he can say he won to a larger opponent. This is why Curley picks Lennie when in fact all the others were the ones who were being critical of him. All Lennie had to do was smile to make Curley hit him! You could say he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is exactly what Pip was in Great Expectations this was what caused Magwitch to pick on Pip. Magwitch was not retaliating to anything Pip had done in the same way that Curley was not retaliating to anything that Lennie had done, although he does make the false accusation that Lennie was laughing at him. We do not know any past history about Great Expectations apart from the fact that Pips mother and father are dead although this really does not have anything to do with this conflict. ...read more.

Middle

Even when Pip is defending himself, it is never physically. There are only two times when he really tries to stop Magwitch from hurting him and the first of these is at the top of page 2when he says, "Don't cut my throat sir," and then on page 3 when he says, "If you would kindly please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn't be sick, and perhaps I could attend more." In both of these instances Pip regards his attacker with the utmost of respect and tries to reason with him despite the fact that this man he has never met has threatened to kill him. In this way the language shows the reader how Pip feels and how they are behaving, whereas in of Mice and Men we get mainly a physical side to the fight because that conflict is a lot more actual fighting than in the conflict between Pip and Magwitch. In Great Expectations there are no other characters watching when the actual conflict occurs and so the meeting is a lot less about show than it is in of Mice and Men where Curley is really just trying to show the other men that he is still a good fighter and is in charge physically as well as being the bosses son. This fails though, when Lennie successfully retaliates. There are a lot more people who have a role in the conflict in of Mice and Men than there are in Great Expectations. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is the only time we really see Lennie intentionally doing some harm, and this is only after being beaten up by an ex-professional boxer and then told to do it by George! So in this way the conflict is not really solving anything. This is exactly the same as in Great Expectations where we see Magwitch stealing food from Pip. Dickens is showing us the bad side of this character right from the start and at first glance we assume he is an evil criminal and a bad person. However if we look closer we see that the "bad" side of this person is actually not trying to be bad and scary, its just how it looks. For example the first thing Magwitch says is, "Hold Your Noise!" Cried A Terrible Voice. The word terrible makes us assume that this person is bad but really he is just trying to make Pip be quiet so he does not cause any attention to himself. He is only robbing Pip for food; he is stealing for survival. So he is not actually trying to do a bad thing. Like how Lennie never does bad things intentionally in of Mice and Men. The conflict scenes in both these books are not about intentional harm or causing pain to another person (with exception of what Curley is doing to Lennie); they are about people doing these things because they have to, not out of choice. The stories make you empathise with the main combatants despite the fact they are doing something wrong. Text Box: By Sam Abrahams 11mp ...read more.

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