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John Stienbeck (Nobel Prize winner) said that all his writing had the underlying message that people "should try to understand each other." This is particularly evident in the famous tale "Of Mice and Men".

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Introduction

John Stienbeck (Nobel Prize winner) said that all his writing had the underlying message that people "should try to understand each other." This is particularly evident in the famous tale "Of Mice and Men". In which two travelling farm workers are treated as scapegoats because they travel together and one is mentally disabled. This tale is set in Salinas (see photo map) California in the early part of the last century. At this time many families travelled west looking for farm work after the economic crash in 1929. Because of this short story must have been particularly poignant when it was written. The story starts by describing the two main characters of the story; George a regular normal and yet defined farm worker with "sharp features". Lennie is described as a "huge man shapeless of face with large pale eyes and slopping shoulders." At this point we don't know why they're sat outside in the Californian farmlands. Then Lennie is shown to be slightly out of the normal when he takes a drink from the river and acts more like a child than a man. For example when he splashes the water he says "Look George, Look what I done." This gives us the impression that Lennie needs George because of his handicap. ...read more.

Middle

Curly also gives one of his puppies to Lennie who spends all of his time in the barn playing with it and try's to sneak it in. When he does Slim asks George what's wrong with Lennie. George feeling at ease with Slim reveals that Lennie is a "bit crazy". He also tells Slim about what happened in Weed. He says that Lennie sees a girl wearing a soft dress, so he try's to feel it and terrifies the girl. The girl screams but this scares Lennie so he just holds on. When the girl finally gets free she tells everybody that George and Lennie raped her, So they ran away. Later we meet Crooks who is a stable hand. He got his name because he was kicked in the back, which is now crooked. Just like the boss and Curley's wife we never know his real name. Crooks is coloured and as a result is made to live in the barn and isn't allowed in the bunkhouse. At one point Lennie talks to him and Crooks is very worried that Lennie is mocking him. After a short time Crooks amits that he is very lonely in the barn and believes that he shouldn't be isolated due to his race. ...read more.

Conclusion

Showing us how quickly we judge people dispute not knowing them well. That night Rhoda dreams that she hurts the new wife's arm, but when she awakes pays no attention. Later the wife takes a trip up to Rhoda's house to give her son some new shoes. This is the first time we ever here anybody give the wife a name, Gertrude. Just like the boy we are given the impression that her name wasn't important its who people thought she was. After a few meetings they become quite good friends but Rhoda never really notices the error of her ways. The Gertrude reveals that her arm somehow got injured and medical men can't cure it. At this point Rhoda belives that she did it and we are told that "people had called her witch before" this was probably because she lived apart from people. This is another sign of people not understanding each other. Unfortunately the rest of the tale is mainly about the story and we can't find much to show us about unfair persecution. This first half of the story tells us how quick we are to judge and try's to get us to understand each other. In some ways Rhoda and Crooks (from "Of Mice And Men"), they are both isolated for trivial reasons a both feel bad as a result of it. ...read more.

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