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Discuss how Hardy and Steinbeck treat the theme of 'outsiders' in 'The Withered Arm' and 'Of Mice and Men'.

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Introduction

Discuss how Hardy and Steinbeck treat the theme of 'outsiders' in 'The Withered Arm' and 'Of Mice and Men'. Hardy and Steinbeck both use the theme of outsiders strongly in their stories. The term 'outsider' means one who is not a member of a profession, party or circle or one not acquainted with or interested in something that is going on. A person can be an outsider for many different reasons for example loneliness, disability, gender, race, age, size and action. Steinbeck's short story 'Of Mice and Men' was set on a ranch in California during the American Depression in the late 1930's. The story is about two men Lennie and George. Lennie is mentally disabled so George looks after him. When Lennie and George first meet the boss's son Curley he immediately feels threatened by Lennie's size. Lennie and George go and work on the ranch because they want to save up their money so they can buy a ranch of their own. As the story progresses 2 other characters, Candy and Crooks, become interested in their idea and ask if they can help out. Lennie is given a puppy by Slim (another worker on the ranch). ...read more.

Middle

I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain't wanted in my room" This shows that Crooks is not allowed to go in their rooms invading their private space so he does not want them coming in his room doing that, if he is not allowed to do it. An outsider in 'The Withered Arm' Rhoda. She is and outsider because she has a son with Farmer Lodge and does not talk to any of the other workers at the dairy farm, so they think she is stuck-up: '...as the milkmaid spoke she turned her face so that she could glance past her cow's tail to the other side of the barton, where a thin fading woman of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest.' This is a part in the story where Rhoda is at work at the dairy farm and all the other workers are talking about Farmer Lodge's new wife. Rhoda does not join in the conversation for obvious reasons, but as they talk the workers look over at her. Candy is another outsider in 'Of Mice and Men'. He is an outsider because he is older than any of the other workers. A part in the story where Candy's loneliness is visible is when his dog is taken from him and shot by some of the other workers because they are sick of the smell of it: "Candy did not answer. ...read more.

Conclusion

make the wedding ring it wore glitter in Rhoda's eyes......swung out her right hand seized the confronting spectre by its obtrusive left arm, and whirled it backward to the floor" However in this story the dream comes true because Gertrude visits Rhoda and shows her the marks on her arm. In 'Of Mice and Men' the style is mainly conversational, we learn about events through dialogue. Through language we can tell that the boss is aloof to the workers. The language is like a child's when Lennie is moving; he is described like an animal. This story is known as a novella. It deals with poor and working class people. In 'The Withered Arm' the style is also conversational, we learn about Rhoda at the beginning through conversation. It is third person narrative and in the past tense. This story is known as a short story. Through language we can also tell that the boss is aloof to the workers. This story also deals with poor and working class people. The settings are very similar, as they are both set on a farm in remote areas of the countries in which they are set. 'The Withered Arm is set on a dairy farm in England but 'Of Mice and Men' is set on a ranch in California. Laura Cass ...read more.

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