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Of Mice and Men - Choose one character that each represents one of the following: meanness, kindness and a mixture of both. Discuss how John Steinbeck presents their qualities.

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Introduction

Choose one character that each represents one of the following: meanness, kindness and a mixture of both. Discuss how John Steinbeck presents their qualities. In of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck presents some characters that are kind, mean and a mixture of both. The characters that I have chosen are Slim, Curley and George. In this essay I will be writing about how John Steinbeck presents their qualities by studying what the characters have done, said and the language that they have used. I have chosen Slim to represent kindness. In the novel Slim is presented as the leader who is well respected by the people working in the ranch. '..He moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen.' 'His ear heard more than what was said to him and his slow speech had overtones ....of understanding beyond thought' These quotes show that Slim is high up the hierarchy. Although some people are intimidated by him he is generally a kind person who has an understanding of George and Lennie's relationship. Slim understands Lennie's condition which helps George because Slim is able to show sympathy towards him. 'Jesus, he's jes like a kid, ain't he?' This shows that Slim understands Lennie's strange behaviour. Especially at the end of the novel when George forces himself to kill Lennie, Slim reassures him that he is making the right decision and is the only one who really understands George's grief in the end. ...read more.

Middle

This quotation from Slim shows what a terrible husband Curley is. After Slim says this to Curley everyone decides to join in, Lennie starts to laugh which provokes Curley and he says 'What the hell you laughin' at? Come on, ya big bastard....no big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me.' Lennie does not understand why Curley is so angry at him and Curley thinks that he has an advantage so he punches Lennie. But Curley underestimates Lennie's strength and ends up being seriously injured by Lennie. After this incident Slim makes a deal with Curley to keep everything quiet. This incident causes Curley to learn his lesson and therefore he does not start trouble with the members of the ranch. George represents a mixture of both meaness and kindness. George is a small man, he is clever and an independent person although he is always with Lennie because of his mental immaturity. When we first meet George in the beginning of the novel the first thing George does is tell Lennie off. This quotation shows George telling Lennie off 'Lennie! Lennie, for God' sakes don't drink so much.' We assume that George is a mean person but as we read further in the novel we discover it is because of Lennie's mental disability that George gets frustrated with Lennie easily. However we also realise that George does it for Lennie's best interest. ...read more.

Conclusion

George killed Lennie in a humane way; he wanted to keep Lennie happy before he died. Curley did not kill Lennie first because George got their first. He thought it felt right for him to kill Lennie and not someone else. This brings us back to when Carlson shot Candy's dog because Candy was not brave enough to do it himself. Slim, Curley and Carlson find George with the dead body of Lennie. Slim reassures George and tells him that it was the right thing to do and he doesn't need to worry. George is finally free. John Steinbeck uses figurative language to create an atmosphere of reality. His use of metaphors and similes in both the end and beginning of the book and his descriptions of the natural world help us imagine an image in our heads of the characters and setting. John Steinbeck also uses irony in the novel for example Lennie and George never got their ranch. Their dreams have been broken. It is an ironic twist as Lennie is still asking George to describe the ranch just before he dies. Furthermore John Steinbeck uses non Standard English. The dialect is of a Californian ranch worker. This use of dialect and language helps add the realism of the story and to have a strong impact amongst the readers. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2nd Draft Puifon 11N ...read more.

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