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'Of Mice and Men' has been described as a pessimistic story - Do you agree? What can you find in the story that might be called hopeful or optimistic?

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men Essay "'Of Mice and Men' has been described as a pessimistic story. Do you agree? What can you find in the story that might be called hopeful or optimistic?" Without much doubt, reading the novel of Mice and Men does not prove to be a positive story. Its main input is sadness whether through loneliness or unhappiness in the hearts of the characters and in the general social and economic environment of the time. The social context of the story is destined for loneliness as the novel was set in the times of the"Depression"-times where employment proved to be difficult. As a result many were affected by poverty and loneliness as many moved constantly in search of work. Furthermore, the setting of the story Soledad is short for the town's full name, 'Nuestra senora de Soledad' which means 'our Lady of Loneliness'. Steinbeck portrays the main characters in the story as people who face challenges of the depression. He examines such themes of American culture as dreams, loneliness and racism. Characters chosen to evoke such themes are usually the outcasts within the novel- Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and Crooks. For such a novel portrayed in utter sadness and sorrow, Steinbeck chooses to start it with hopefulness and optimism "On the valley side the water is lined with trees-willows fresh and green with every spring." ...read more.

Middle

Again, these hints of optimism cleverly portrayed by Steinbeck will lead to anxiety and thus a greater disappointment when the dream 'does not come true'. Candy like Crooks is an exile because his age and physical disability exclude him from the rest of the men on the ranch. Because of his age and disability, he has a feeling of uselessness "They'll can me purty soon". Candy thinks that nobody wants to be friends with him due to his disability. He seeks most of his companionship with his dog. Similarly the dog has reached old age and ceases to utilise as the sheepdog he once used to be "He was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen". "He ain't no good to himself. Why'n't you shoot him, Candy?" Here Carlson is unsentimental about Candy's dog as he can see no further practical use for it and so tries to pummel some sense into Candy to exonerate the dog. Steinbeck has skilfully added hints and many premonitions in the novel which appear only to be identified after having completed the novel. The relation of Candy and the 'dog' in comparison to George and Lennie's prove to be one of the best premonitions Steinbeck has added. He has chosen to reflect a parallel representation of the symbolic similarity between the dog and Lennie. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas, now she is dead, she will not have to worry about being lonely ever again. Curley's wife case of loneliness was one of the most severe throughout the novel. She struggled in her society to find somebody that she could befriend in vain. Of Mice and Men Essay Even if all people are miserable when they are lonely, the consequences of friendship can be even worse. When one of the members of a friendship is removed, it causes misery and pain for a long time. Certainly, when looking at all of these examples, "Of Mice and Men", surely does prove to be a pessimistic story identifying callous forms of sadness such as loneliness, discrimination and racism. Though, hope surely does shine throughout the story; and amongst the sadness it can be simply spotted as it stands out high. However, Steinbeck does not evoke these moments of hope just to eliminate some of the deep events. He does this to add more sadness to the novel and so the reader can feel a greater sense of upset. This sense is usually recognized after having finished the novel, and then having time to reflect upon it. Hope keeps society in tacked; with loneliness it will just corrupt through misery. (This is also not finished.....but can you please direct me to what level the work is at?) Maytham Aomran Page 1 Of Mice and Men 30/04/2007 Essay ...read more.

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