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Of Mice and Men Qu.

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Choose two characters from the list below, say why you think they are important in the novel and how Steinbeck presents them: Candy; Crooks; Curley; Curley's wife; Slim. In the novel, Candy and Curley's wife play a large part of the ideas that Steinbeck wants to convey through "Of Mice and Men". Steinbeck shows this via the events and treatments that these two characters undergo. Their speech and actions also indicate major themes in the world they were in and how desperate the era was. Candy presents an element on the sadness in the novel; he's a unfortunate man who's passed his expiry date. He's been involved in an accident and lost his arm and by this, he has been reduced to the swamper of the rank- a very low status job. Steinbeck may specifically choose this job for candy as a swamper (a cleaner) tends to be a job that woman generally work as and in this job, they often gossip a lot like Candy does. He does this as it is the only pleasure that he can experience in his sad rotting life. This paints the portrait of how sad Candy's background may be and soon this is elaborated on even more in future events. In the middle section of the book, we see how Candy is bullied by Carlson into having his best friend- his dog put down. We know that Candy is very close to his dog as Steinbeck actually chooses to describe the dog very similarly to Candy. ...read more.


In the final stages of the book, we learn what has driven Curley's wife to act in this aggressive way. Although she speaks to groups of men with hostility, when its one on one, it runs a lot more smoothly and she seems like she enjoys herself. This has a large contract since there is juxtaposition between section 4 and 5. We see her nasty side where she mock George, Lennie and Candy's dream calling it "baloney" and "scoffs at it" yet even herself who has been crushed by her own dream may "secretly believe". This shows that beneath this angry cover of hers, may be a vulnerable person who only feels the bitterness and jealousy of other's happiness hinted by the phrase "secretly believe". Steinbeck states this about the cowboy magazines to suggest what type of sad life people live in however, within dreams still lies hope but people are afraid to admit to the hope since they are scared of the criticism others show. This idea is developed implicitly mainly by the word "secret". Through this attitude, people have become cynical and cold over the time which is what Steinbeck may want to show us. Curley's wife shares with Lennie her dream in section 5. The fact that she has never told anyone (which she states herself) shows how underneath all the bitterness she has experienced, the memory of the dream she once had (or partially may still have) changes her to be kind and share her deepest secrets with a stranger. ...read more.


Thus all she does for the rest of her days is rot in her hate. We get the impression that she's been doing this for years since she describes how her "dress yellowing"- yellowing suggesting dirtying from the years it's been on her. On the otherhand, the speaker is "Lab" is made out to be more malicious than having thoughts of hate. As she makes the poison, she describes the creation with very vivid verbal details. "Grind away, moisten and mash up" create strong imagery and each of the verbs hold strong care in creating something. By suggesting this care and importance that has gone into the poison, it seems that she really relishes the creation. And finally as she fantasises about how delicious the event would be, she thinks about how the "dying face" would be "branded" into the male characters mind. She wants to mentally scar him with the horrendous image possibly for punishment or to make him see how ugly the other woman is when she becomes "shrivelled" suggesting how her face would become contorted with agony. As she describes this with such detail and precision, the poet presents to us how malicious and bitter the speaker is. A thus through use of language and theme, the poets have successfully produces a very clear image of the bitter, hate filled speakers and how they've become this way and even how they have dealt with this. The speaker in "Havisham" rotting and "yellowing" opposed to the "minion" in "Lab" who relishes in the thought of killing and branding someone with the scarring image of death. ...read more.

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