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"MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE CHARACTERS IN OF MICE AND MEN CAN BE SEEN AS VICTIMS IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER" DISCUSS. It was a time of great hardship, a time of extreme poverty during which people struggled to survive. They struggled to put food on the table let alone get some enjoyment from life. They were trapped in a time where little hope existed. Migrant workers had to travel great distances to find work, often there was too little work for too many people. People became victims of these hard times known as The Great Depression. The Great Depression caused a major economic slump in North America. People lost their jobs, many farming and businesses were made bankrupt. By 1933 millions of Americans were out of work. Bread lines were a common sight in most cities. Hundreds of thousands roamed the country in search of food, work and shelter. Many ended up competing for seasonal work picking crops at very low wages and in extremely poor living conditions. It is against this background that 'Of Mice and Men' is set, the characters being victims of a desperate social and economic situation created out of a time of great disruption to their lives. The characters of 'Of Mice and Men' are all victims in ways that are different but sometimes there are similarities. John Steinbeck, the author, portrays the way each individual character is a victim. George is a victim in various ways; he is a victim of a social situation. ...read more.


This makes the possibility of him being fired greater, because it would be easy for the boss to find new workers who would do a lot more than Candy and for less pay. Candy is lucky because he has over $250 saved. Candy can also be seen as a victim of loss because he lost his dog, who was a close companion ever since he was a pup. It is not easy to have someone or something that you have lived with for years just taken away from you in a short amount of time. The only reason he lost his dog was because of everyone around him, who did not feel the same way that Candy did towards it. Everyone else wanted it dead. Having his dog dead made Candy a victim of isolation and loneliness. He is on his own now, only because he was forced to give up his pet. Candy will suffer severely as he faces a bleak future "on the county" - a meagre system of state welfare. This system guarantees the victim to end up in poverty, automatically losing his or her dignity. Once trapped within this system it is extremely difficult to break away as it saps a persons' mental and physical strength. Curley was a bully. Ironically he was a victim of his own bullying because he tried bullying Lennie, which proved to be a big mistake. After punching Lennie several times George told Lennie to 'Get 'im'. Lennie responded by grabbing Curley's fist and squeezing it until he was told several times by George to stop. ...read more.


A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.' Steinbeck's description of nature's beauty is suddenly shattered by the swift brutality of the heron. This highlights the fact that harshness is even evident in nature. The language used in this novel is in parts very harsh. The different characters use very offensive words such as 'nigger'. Some use it as a normal and ordinary word, but others tend to use it in an offensive and derogatory manner. Curley's wife makes a personal attack on Crooks, Lennie and Candy, offensively saying: 'An what am I doin'? Standin' here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs - a nigger an' a dum-dum and a lousy ol' sheep.' The harsh language used reveals the attitudes of the different characters of 'Of Mice and Men'. It shows how the people who lived in the times of great hardship were frustrated, and how they took all their anger out on those who are easy targets such as 'niggers' and 'dum-dums'. The language used is indicative of the times, a harsh language in harsh times. In conclusion there is overwhelming evidence that most of the characters of 'Of Mice and Men' are victims in a variety of ways, whether they are victims of bullying, isolation, disabilities or social situations. The poverty caused by the Great Depression contributed to the people being victims as it put great restrictions on their hopes of a better life. The lack of hope for a better life led to many characters accepting their lot as victims. Patrick McGrath ...read more.

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