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Examine the theme of status in 'Of mice and men' - In what ways does the character status influence their actions?

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Examine the theme of status in `Of mice and men'. In what ways does the character status influence their actions? "Of mice and men" was written by John Steinbeck in 1937, during the time of the great depression in America. The great depression lasted nearly over 10 years, from the end of 1929 until the early 1940's. It was the worst and largest economic collapse in the industrial world ever. People all over America lost their jobs, savings and homes in1933 at the worst point in the depression, more than 15 million Americans were unemployed. Over these years many people in America still managed to keep hope, a lot of people held a belief in the American dream. There were extreme amounts of prejudice during these times, against anything remotely different. For example, people of a different race, disabled people and even women. They were treated with no respect, and were not accepted. The American dream was about achieving goals and equality. This concept is displayed all the way through `Of Mice and Men'. All the characters in this novel have a different status. The way different types of people are treated because of their skin colour, mentality or gender is shown clearly. Curley's wife as a woman has a low status, the stable buck as a Negro and Lennie because he was mentally disabled. Although, George and Lennie still hold faith in the American dream, that one-day they will get their land. ...read more.


"Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages", this detailed description of how her hair shows she must of taken a lot of time and care on her hair. Steinbeck describes her voice having a "nasal, brittle quality". Her appearance is described as a pretty young nice girl. however the language used to describe the way she speaks, the way she smiles, is `brittle', "she smiled archly". Showing she's not such an innocent woman. Steinbeck also describes her as a "girl", not a woman. She is constantly trying to get any mans attention, " her eyes traveled from one face to another", she tries to make eye contact. When she first meets with George and Lennie, she tries to playfully talk to them, make conversation. George can see straight through her and replies "brusquely". She tries using reverse psychology on him, "Nobody can't blame a person for looking". Although the first thing George says when she's gone is "Jesus what a tramp", he continues to describe her as "jail bait", "poison", "bitch". There is one example on the novel when we see how her status is marginally higher than another charact. This is the incident with Crooks in section four. When she finds she is left with people of a low status, `bindle stiffs, a nigger, an' a dum-dum, and a lousy ol' sheep'. When Crooks begins to speak of his rights, she becomes very harsh all of a sudden. ...read more.


To show that despite being labeled `low status', every individual can be as talented as any other person. For example Crooks, is written as a very skilled, intelligent man, although has a very low status. Slim was put in Slim is the product of Steinbecks want to demonstrate that nobleness, can be found in all parts of society. Also to raise the status of the ranch workers. Slim is who creates the moral of this story, shows us the sense of right or wrong. In our society today, I believe society has progressed to become a more accepting community. Now, it is mandatory to treat all races equally. Although everyone has their own opinion, and there are still people who believe people of a different race should be treated differently. Women in society have come an exceptionally long way, now we are almost completely equal. Our human rights are now the same as men's, and there are barely any restrictions on women any longer. The elderly are also treated very similar to us, but there are youngsters who find it hard to tolerate the elderly. They see the aged as a different kind in society. Another very famous classic novel that focuses on low status is, `Great Expectations', by Charles Dickens. Here Dickens gives narrative authority to a young orphan `Pip', of a low status. This is a story of a boy who attempts to raise his status in society, for moral redemption. By Shenaz Allybokus. 11.05 ...read more.

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