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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

"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.

Conclusion

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.

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

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. Loneliness In Of Mice and Men

    It was the first work to bring John Steinbeck national recognition as a writer. The title suggests that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, a reference to Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse." Of Mice and Men was selected for the Book of the Month Club

  2. Of Mice and Men

    a place and have a farm, and the secret dream, once Lennie and George's only, continues to be spread. Crooks laughs at Lennie, saying that George just talks and Lennie is too stupid to remember, so it doesn't matter what George talks about.

  1. A breakdown of Steinbeck's 'Of mice and Men'.

    She claims to be looking for Curley, and George tells her, without looking at her, that Curley isn't in the bunkhouse. Lennie, however, stares fascinated at the pretty lady in the doorway, which Curley's wife seems to enjoy, "she smiled archly and twitched her body" (35).

  2. Of Mice and Men' is a novel about people. Are there 'too many cripples, ...

    'I had enough' he said coldly'. This implies that even though Crooks is seen as the lowest respected in society he still has some sense of dignity.

  1. Of Mice and Men English language

    to the French revolution happening in France he set up the statue of liberty to symbolise this dream, because the American dream was similar in France. If you were an immigrant coming into America by boat, the statue of liberty would be the first thing that you saw.

  2. Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land', says Crooks to ...

    very pessimistic which makes him very negative towards the depression and the society. Steinbeck was really successful in representing a very harsh and cruel society by symbolizing and showing some incidents that show the society in a negative way and how it had different effects on people and different views

  1. Of Mice and Men

    a word when the Boss talks to them the following day, because he fears they won't be hired if Lennie is suspected of being stupid. Lennie promises not to say anything. While the two men talk, we learn a little about their past.

  2. 'Of Mice and Men' - the theme of lonelyness

    An example of this is when Lennie drinks "from the surface of the green pool." George is always looking out for him to protect him from danger. "'Lennie!' he said sharply. 'Lennie, for God's sake don't drink so much." George has to take care of Lennie, even though he knows

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