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How does Steinbeck present the culture of the migrant worker in the novel?

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How does Steinbeck present the culture of the migrant worker in the novel? John Steinbeck wrote a novel called Of Mice and Men in 1937. At the time America was in a period of economic depression following the Wall Street crash. John Steinbeck saw the effects and saw how people had to work hard away from home as migrant workers and this motivated him to write this novel. The story is about 2 migrant workers; Lennie and George. In this essay we will be looking at the character of the migrant workers, their motivations and their dreams for the future. Also we will be looking at the language and then conclude by answering the question 'how does Steinbeck present the culture of the migrant worker in the novel? Migrant workers are people who go looking around for work away from home. They normally do not form long term friendships and normally do not form relationships with women. However in Steinbeck's novel there are two friends called Lennie and George who have a long term friendship. Lennie is a big man with a mental age of about 8. He always relies on George to tell him what's right and wrong. We can know that normal migrant workers are lonely. This is supported when George says "guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. ...read more.


This is shown when George says "with us it aint like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us". This tells us that they have a dream the way George say "we got a future". This shows us hope. Also when Lennie says "I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you". This shows us lots of things, firstly it shows us friendship between them but it also shows that Lennie relies on George. George's dream is to have is own piece of land and Lennie's is to tend rabbits on that piece of land. But there are also other characters that have dreams like Curley's. Her dream is to become an actress when she says "he was going to put me in the movies". This shows us that she wanted to become an actress and therefore shows us that even she has a dream. Also Crooks dreams of being seen as equal to everyone else. He remembers his childhood, when he played with white children who came to his family's chicken ranch. Even the old and useless Candy has a dream which merges with Lennie and George's dream which is to have their own piece of land. So overall Steinbeck presents us with a lot of different characters of the migrant workers. ...read more.


Overall I think that Steinbeck shows the culture of the migrant workers in numerous ways, he gives us different characteristics of the migrant worker for example anger, suspicions, selfishness and loneliness, but the most important thing is the dream of Lennie and George that one day they will have their own piece of land and this is what keeps them going. This shows hope for the migrant worker. Candy and his dog provides a parallel to George and Lennie. When candy's dog got old and useless he got killed, but not by Candy but by Carlson, Candy felt that he should have killed the dog himself when he says "I should have killed him myself". At the end of the novel George kills Lennie because he knew it would be better for him to kill Lennie and not regret it like Candy did with his dog. Steinbeck shows us that not all migrant workers are selfish and don't make long term friendships by the characters Lennie and George. Steinbeck tells us how quickly hopes and dreams can get destroyed. The title 'of mice and men' refers to a poem which tells us of a mouse and how the mouse builds up his nest and how the nest is destroyed. The mouse symbolises Lennie and George and the nest is symbolises their dream and how it is destroyed so suddenly. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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