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How does Steinbeck use poignancy in 'Of Mice and Men'?

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In Of Mice and Men we can see that people are very uncertain about their future and their careers appear to be unstable. Also relationships between people are unstable; there is a lack of trust between friends. Slim says (p36) "Ain't many guys travel around together ...I don't know why. Maybe ever' body in the damn world is scared of each other." I think this shows that there were a lot of untrusting peoples living at that time. Also people may have been very negligent towards other people. We learn from the novel that the kind of lifestyle the men lead is a very lonely, isolated one. They don't have any family and their only friends are those living on the Ranch. Their only possessions are those held in the apple boxes above their beds. They only seem to live to spend their wages at the end of the month, on things such as Western Magazines which they like to fantasise of a perfect "American Dream" for example: (p18)"...secretly believe". ...read more.


He may also be shocked because all his life he has been put down and separated, but now the very people that have been accusing him of being different are trying to become acquainted with him. He may think that Lennie can't just be friends with him and that it is not as simple as that. He may feel that Lennie has to make up for all the torture that Crooks has been through. Curley's wife's otherness of being the only woman forces her to be isolated on the ranch too. Woman around the 1930s had very few rights. At worst they were more or less kept prisoner by their husbands. This is similar in the novel because Curley's Wife doesn't appear to have much of a life on and off the ranch. We can recognise this because she is forever seeking attention from the other men on the Ranch. The novel gives the impression that she is dangerous to be around with because she is the boss's daughter in-law and anyone who is interested in her faces the risk of being fired. ...read more.


George's kind, warm-hearted character ends up leaving him secluded after Lennie's death. Although this could not be helped due to Lennie's distinctiveness, if he hadn't been mentally ill, he might not have let Curley's wife provoke him, leading to her death. After Curley's wife's death Lennie had no choice other than to die, if George hadn't shot him, Curley would have hunt him down and he'd probably of had a much more painful death. Also the significance of the "heron and the water snake" is that life can be interrupted by unforeseen events. Dreams are one of the ways in which the characters combat the hopelessness of their existence. The most obvious example is the dream farm, a dream shared at first only by George and Lennie, but which later spreads to include Candy and Crooks. Crooks reveals that it is the favourite dream of the itinerant ranchmen, "Seems like ever' guy got land in his head.' It is a powerful dream, however, and even the cynical Crooks falls under its spell for a short time. Significantly, none of the characters ever achieve their dreams. Shamil Akram ...read more.

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