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Of Mice And Men

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Why is 'Of Mice And Men' full of human suffering? Look at the reasons behind individual characters' suffering. Of Mice and Men (to now be referred to as M+M) is full of human suffering for a number of reasons. The foremost is that Steinbeck wants to paint a picture of the real life for men, and women, working in the unstable environment that was 1930s America. His book, although it is fiction, is based upon the reality of ranch life during the Great Depression. As Steinbeck released M+M in 1937, he would have had ample fact to base the novella upon truths. The book centres on the real tragedies of real men and the dream that was fantasised about and yet rarely achieved. By using reality as a base for his novella, Steinbeck allows the reader to empathise with the harshness and fear that is represented by ranch life. Although some parts of the book seem as though the characters have been through unbelievable scenarios, we must remember that to create the feeling of real human suffering, Steinbeck used a microcosm of all ranch workers. This is so we can see the full extent to which ranch life, the Dust Bowl and 1930s America, actually affected the masses. A main aspect of this suffering is the loneliness which all of the characters, bar George and Lennie, experience. ...read more.


"You do bad things" He suffers from grief when he kills his mouse and his pup by accident and he also suffers at the hands of Curley, although he fights back, he still feels scared and vulnerable, as a child would. George is the one who tells him what he should do. "Get 'im Lennie!.....I said get him." It is easy to assume that George uses Lennie for his own ends but, as we see in the story, this is not true. In fact when it comes to the ultimate suffering, Lennie's death, George makes it more bearable for Lennie and shoots him with mercy. Steinbeck is trying to show that although ranch life was full of suffering, there were cases where true friendships/relationships might occur. However, Steinbeck also uses Lennie's death to mean that hardly anything survived life on the ranch, whether it were friendships or people themselves. Slim and Carlson do not have their own cases of suffering, instead they symbolise the average ranch workers' life. They suffer from low pay, poor quality of life and loneliness. The hardships of the ranches are shown in Carlson especially, as he has no feelings for Candy's dog or Candy, only that the dog is making his life worse than it already is. "God awmighty, that dog stinks." ...read more.


She suffers rejection when the men tell her to leave and she feels wrongly judged by the people on the ranch. "Ain't I got a right to talk to nobody?" Curley mistreats her in his act to show off his manhood and she continually searches for the comfort that is denied her. Curley's Wife suffers because of Curley, who cuts her off from anyone else. She also suffers because Curley uses her and doesn't really love her. Her loneliness drives her to talk to anyone who will listen, and those who won't, but she doesn't truly speak to anyone until she catches Lennie in the barn. There, she confides in Lennie all of her suffering. "If I'd went, I wouldn't be livin' like this, you bet." She has suffered through her lost dream, where she wanted to be in the pictures but her mother stopped her from going. Then, her hopes were raised by a man who said he would take her to Hollywood, only to be dashed when he didn't write, and so she suffered the feeling of loss and then lashed out by marrying Curley and leaving her mother. "Coulda been in the movies, an' had nice clothes..." Curley's Wife also suffers by being a possession of Curley, as her title suggests. She will never, and has never, had her own identity and when she is killed by Lennie, she dies without a name. Steinbeck manages to use human suffering to give the reader an informed insight into ranch life. ...read more.

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