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

How significant is the theme of violence in of mice and men?

Extracts from this document...


How significant is the theme of violence in of mice and men? The novel 'of mice and men', written by John Steinbeck, is a tale of an extraordinary friendship between two ranch workers who fight for survival in the harsh times of the 1930s, the great depression of America. The essay concerns the role of violence throughout the novel and explores the theme of violence in different parts of the tale, as well as looking how specific characters use violence for different reasons. Specific areas of which the novel will explore are parts such as the death of Curlys wife, the fight between Curly and Lennie and the death of Lennie. The content of the book as a strong historic and social element, as well as a literary one. The social element refers to the way they lived. This would have been poorly, as they were in a great time of depression, where most of America lived in poverty. This also links to the historic element. America was very poor at the time. The literary element refers to the structure of the novel. The novel is written in play form, which makes it particularly easy to turn into a play. The theme of violence is a major theme in the novel, and the violence in speech between characters is a regular occurrence. This is noticeable in the speech between George and Lennie. From the very start of the novel we can see examples of George becoming irritated and enraged with Lennie. ...read more.


'Then Curlys rage exploded'. The word 'rage' emphasises Curlys anger and aggression, whilst the word 'exploded' suggests Curlys violence, and also signifies the suddenness and the destruction of Curlys rage. 'Curly was balanced and poised. He slashed at Lennie with his left, and smashed down his nose with a right'. The words 'smashed down his nose with a right' give a really detailed description and build an image of Lennie's nose being smashed. Not only does the quote contain this description but the words 'smashed' and 'slashed' are similar words as well alliteration. These two words build up the violence. The violence of Curly is soon stopped when Lennie grabs his hand. 'Curly was flopping like a fish'. This shows that when Lennie grabs his hand, Curly becomes weak and defenceless. A fish flopping is normally a sign that it is out of water and dying. Curly is in the fish's position at this time in the book, and is at the mercy of Lennie. Curly has turned into a poor defenceless animal. 'The flopping little man' also shows the reduction in his respect, and that his ego has been belittled by Lennies unintentional violence. Following on with the theme of violence, the killing of Curlys wife is the next point. Curlys wife enters the novel in section two. She is a major cause of tension and violence in the story. This is because most of the workers are scared of her, as she is Curlys wife and Curly is the boss' son. ...read more.


George reassures Lennie, and lets him know that he was never mad at him. This is George's way of saying goodbye and that he also loved him like a brother. 'No Lennie. I aint mad, I never been mad, and I aint mad. That's the thing I want ya to know'. This shows George hinting that he is sorry for the way he has treated Lennie. The scene changes the tone of the novel, as after the killing of Lennie, everything is relaxed and calm. All the tension of violence is released with a single gun shot, and the novel becomes much softer and relaxed. The conclusion to this essay is that violence is used so regularly in the novel to give the reader an idea of what life was like in the 1930s, and that life was a struggle for money, work and the American dream. Most of the aggression in the story comes from the masculine world of ranch life. Steinbeck is trying to put the point that American society in the 1930s was a vicious place to live in, and that the people were looking out for them selves and no one else. They were not afraid to stab someone in the back to improve there life. He is also saying the ranches were a main source of the violence, but also a vital money source. Violence in this novel is a very significant part, and keeps the reader entertained and interested. It adds excitement and encourages the reader to read on, and therefore is very important. 1 Connor Richardson ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. An Analysis of Old Major's Speech: Animal Farm

    The effects are, in my opinion, that it gives the speaker added authority due to the confident manner of speaking which the rule of three results in. Repetition is also a main technique he uses. The effect of this that the information being repeated is retained in the memory of the listener.

  2. The role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls.'

    Once they realise that there will be 'no scandal' They try to turn a blind eye to the problems that have been identified. They ignore Eric's drinking problem and make little further mention of the fact that he stole a great deal of money from the family business.

  1. Heart attack

    He said "We had just lost some one and then he clenched his heart and keeled over, he lay spread eagled upon the concrete pavement. I immediately performed the correct medical procedures and placed him in the recovery position. I told him everything would be all right and that I had called for an ambulance.

  2. one girl one dream

    When I got off the train my legs were numb and floppy. When I arrived I was directed into a small long building and was told what I should do. The mayor explained that he is only here today then will be flying home tomorrow, and then he introduced me to my mentor.

  1. Question on the novel The Turn of The Screw

    The gaze of intention which the woman fixed on flora also led the governess to describe her as "a horror". Up until this point, the governess had seen both Miles and Flora as "angels" who were capable of no wrong.

  2. The Turn of the Screw.

    appalling moment of the invented confrontation in which Miss Jessel supposedly told her that she suffers the torments of the lost and of the damned and that she wants to share them. " 'To share them-' I faltered myself with the horror of it.

  1. Adrian Mole Chapter Notes

    When Adrian returned, he saw Mr Lucas in tracksuit; Adrian's spots have all gone he thanks it to the fresh air. March 2nd Adrian's mother came to Adrian's room to tell him that her marriage was going through a difficult patch; she spilt ash on his floor.

  2. Teenage survival guide

    much concern, if this is a young nice looking girl teacher this will come to your advantage, because (listen carefully to the following) if you say "ouch no I think its my head hurts'' the teacher will come close and cup your head close to her body and hopefully say

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