• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conflict is often shown throughout the novella of 'Of Mice and Men'. Usually, it is a result of the strain that the Great Depression placed on the people who lived through it.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is set in America during the years of the Great Depression. The depression, that was caused by the Wall Street Crash 1929, left people without a job or house. People had barely enough money to afford necessities such as, food, water and clothes. The pressures of the Great Depression led to many different forms of conflict. Steinbeck shows a variety of these conflicts throughout the novella. One form of conflict shown in the novella is Jealousy. The fact that Lennie is a 'huge man', results in Curley's jealousy towards Lennie. While describing Curley, Slim says, 'He's alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he's mad at 'em because he aint a big guy'. This foreshadows the fight between Curley and Lennie in which Lennie crushes Curley's hand. The adjective 'mad' connotes the irrationality of Curley's simmering anger. Curley's covetousness towards Lennie's size represents that the world of Dust bowl America was a harsh and unforgiving place, where physical strength was especially valuable. The adjective 'mad' has specific connotations which is why, Steinbeck chooses to use 'mad' rather than a word such as, angry to maybe suggest that Curley is slightly insane for picking fights with men considerably bigger and most likely stronger than him. ...read more.

Middle

Steinbeck shows that conflict is driven by a character's uncertainty and future as it is here with George's exasperation with Lennie. Steinbeck's intention may be to make George seem (like other areas of the novella) not perfect. He does this by making the reader see a not so good side of George. Throughout the novella, good things can never be described as perfect. For example, Crooks' luxury of his own room is not perfect because he is always sitting in there alone with no one to talk to, resulting in his loneliness. Also, Curley's marriage is not perfect. Even though he is married to an attractive woman, she is unhappy and feels the need to seek attention from other men. The only thing in the novella that does seem perfect, is in fact George and Lennie's dream which is not a reality. Lennie is misunderstood by Curley leading to the conflict between them. This shows when Slim says, 'If we could keep Curley in, we might. But Curley's gonna want to shoot 'im.' The word 'gonna' suggests that there is no doubt that Curley will want bloody revenge. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that Curley's wife says, 'could' rather than 'will', suggests that she is uncertain to whether she would actually get Crooks 'strung up on a tree'. This is again highlighted when she says, 'it aint even funny'. She says this to try and make herself sound serious as she perhaps knows that she would never do it. The reader possibly feels sympathy towards Curley's wife due to the fact that, the reader knows that she doesn't really want to talk to Crooks or Lennie - she is just lonely. The reader feels this way despite Curley's wife's malicious use of racism. Conflict is often shown throughout the novella of 'Of Mice and Men'. Usually, it is a result of the strain that the Great Depression placed on the people who lived through it. An example of this, is the conflict between George and Lennie which is a consequence of their overwhelming desire to achieve their dream. The main aspects of conflict are shown through: jealousy, resentment, racism and misunderstand. Steinbeck uses 'Of Mice and Men' to portray these factors in a powerful way. He does this by showing them through other characters also such as, Curley and his wife. There was a lot of conflict during the years of the Great Depression and Steinbeck demonstrates this in his novella. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is an extremely well-structured and sophisticated response which examines thoroughly the theme of conflict. The points made are relevant and supported by apt examples and quotations. The writer's craft and word choice is examined extremely well and linked to audience response. The social and historic context of the book is also referred to. There is a need to proof-read in order to amend some minor errors including spaces in words.

Marked by teacher Stephen Evans 20/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Slave's dream

    5 star(s)

    The last line of this stanza, "Then." Has a lot of impact. It is like the final word in an argument. It is saying I will be equal and I will sit at the table with the higher people. The penultimate stanza tells of the guilt that white men will feel in the future.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The importance of dreams in of mice and men

    3 star(s)

    guys would want a hand to work for nothing - just his keep, why I'd come an' lend a hand" He says this because he know that it will probably never happen as he knows reality doesn't allow dreams to become reality.

  1. Creative writing - Of Mice and Men Sequel

    There was a tingly sensation; it was as if he was re-born. The pools of emptiness full were now of knowing and determination. Slowly, he shuffled over to the bunkhouse door and stepped outside into the crisp autumn air. "How're you doin' today?"

  2. FRIENDSHIP IN OF MICE AND MEN

    how obedient Lennie is to George, and how he walked behind him, not only as an inferior, but almost like a pet; which shows that Lennie is dependent on George to know what to do.

  1. Explore Power in Of Mice and Men.

    this is heavily linked with his description as a bear and a terrier: Animals cannot understand humans but are used to hearing certain sounds which for them translate into commands. Lennie's animalistic image juxtaposed with how he lays the mouse at the "sound" completes his figure as an animal and

  2. Loneliness In Of Mice and Men

    from a companion, which he cannot have in his relationship with Lennie. And Lennie doesn't always understand what George is talking about, as Crooks points out "Sometimes he talks, and you don't know what the hell he's talkin' about. Aint' that so?

  1. Crooks monologue- Of mice and men

    sure that my job was somewhat secured after the day when one of the horses kicked me in the back and crippled me.

  2. Of Mice and Men- Crooks' Relationships controlled assessment.

    as Crooks does not verbalise his direct opinion of 'you are wrong' and 'I know more than you' because he completely accepts his status within the ranch. Adverbs such as 'quietly' are used in reference to the way Crooks entered the bunkhouse to emphasise that Crooks understands that he is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work