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Of Mice and Men

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George Haddad Wide Reading Course Work In the course of the year I have been reading two stories as part of my wide reading coursework. The first novel was " Of Mice and Men" written by John Stienbeck, the second was a short story "The Withered Arm" written by Thomas Hardy. I am to compare the two stories for their similarities and differences. John Stienbeck wrote "Of mice and Men" in 1937. The story is about two drifters in search of work. George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream. The dream is that one-day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California's Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. "The withered arm" was written by Thomas Hardy in 1981, and is set in Dorset, south of England. Rhoda Brooke worked on a farm milking cows. She once had a relationship with farmer Lodge and together they had a son. ...read more.


Dreams play a great role in both stories. "Rhoda's" dream is very important in the story. In the dream Rhoda appears to be having a fight with Gertrude, "the sleeper struggled" "Rhoda in a last desperate effort swung out her right hand". I believe the fight occurs because Rhoda is jealous of Gertrude marrying Farmer Lodge. The dream that felt so very real make Gertrudes arm withered. Without the dream in this story there would not be a story. Lennie and George's dream was very important for them. The dream was that George and Lennie would one day "get a jack together and gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an'a cow and some pigs and - " "An' live off the fatta the lan',". I know that the dream gives George and Lennie inspiration because ranch workers used to have no family, no friends and used to waste their money. But George and Lennie had each other. This was never seen before between two ranch workers. "Guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the in the world. ...read more.


"The Withered Arm" has a strong, old 1890's south-western accent. This is seen throughout the story, "He do bring his bride to-morrow", "Tis the work of an enemy" Thomas Hardy was born and lived in Dorset. Most of what he wrote was set in Dorset. His family lived in an isolated building on a heath for which he invented the fictional name "Egdon heath" Thomas Hardy used to listen to many stories from which he obtained his inspiration for the "Withered Arm and other tales". John Stienbeck was born in Salinas California in 1902. He grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, these ended up serving as settings for his fiction. Stienbeck celebrated friendship in his fictions such as "Of Mice and Men". When I read "Of Mice and Men" and "Withered Arm" I believe I am asked to acknowledge the inevitability of a situation in which certain characters, each with a particular weakness and need, cling on to the margins of an unforgiving world. They are parables about commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss, drawing its powers from the fact that these universal truths are grounded in the realistic context of friendship and a shared dream. ?? ?? ?? ?? 3 1 ...read more.

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