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"The Country of the Blind' and 'Of Mice and Men' are very different stories, however there are similarities in the style, structure and themes explored".

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Introduction

Rhiannon Jones English Wider Reading Coursework "The Country of the Blind' and 'Of Mice and Men' are very different stories, however there are similarities in the style, structure and themes explored." Stories as diverse as 'Of Mice and Men' and 'The Country of the blind' will have obvious differences, such as contrasting forms in which they're written as a novel and a short story. On the contrary the novel and novella do posses some similarities that are portrayed in the language used. A combination of poetic and realist narrative style can be found in both tales. Related themes are also explored throughout the texts including sacrifice and the failure of attempting to achieve power and status, admittedly in contrasting ways yet both are ended in a circular narrative form. Despite the likeness between the two texts, they were written for dissimilar reasons. 'Of Mice and Men' reflects the depression-drenched times of 1930's America, and the solitary lives of migrant farm workers. The novel illustrates the struggle of ordinary men striving to achieve their version of the American dream, yet inevitably failing due to the collapsed economy and narrow mindedness of the people in that period. Conversely 'The Country of the Blind' is the authors comment on the social constraints placed upon inhabitants of the time by government and society, explored in a metaphorical manner. H. G. Wells personifies the free thinker as Nunez and how he's persecuted for being this way and forced to exclude himself from society or sacrifice his individuality, which all reflects the Victorian period in which this novella was written. ...read more.

Middle

and therefore the dream comes to an end when George 'pulled the trigger' on Carlson's luger (the same gun which shot Candy's dog) and Lennie 'Jarred' and 'lay without quivering'. Lennie's death shows that this dream seems to be unachievable and due to economic collapse and critical attitudes of the time was always destined to fail as fate is, like people are, cruel; as innocent Lennie was persecuted for a mistake which shouldn't have happened. Another failed dream present in the story is the one of 'fame' and 'money' had by Curley's wife. This dream is mainly failed when she marries Curley after deciding she 'wasn't gonna stay in a place where she couldn't get nowhere or make something of herself' yet backfires, as this 'nasty man' would never allow his wife to go to Hollywood. His closed mindedness helps to kill the dream as he confines her to the ranch by saying 'A wife of mine should stay at home, and not go out', and he inevitably ensures this fantasy will never come true as he drives her to seek company from a disturbed ranch worker, who kills her. The death of her perhaps frivolous dream shows the harshness of the time and how people with closed minds that lived in that era had negative thoughts about women and their glamorous or fantasy like aspirations. The depression and hard-heartedness of the times can also be seen in this realist novel as characters in the novel seem to accept the tragedy present as if it couldn't be helped, by insensitive phrases lacking compassion like "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys?" ...read more.

Conclusion

The deaths of the main characters from both texts, reflects the harshness of society again and how closed-minded people can determine the cruel fate of others. The authors make these comments in a dramatic manner by killing the characters to emphasise the seriousness of the matter and awaken an issue that may be buried in everyday society. As a conclusion to the given statement, the two texts contrast in their substance as stories, as neither is related in general topic. 'Of Mice and Men' is a more in depth tale, where migrant ranch workers are concentrated on in depth and comments on society are made in that way. In contrast 'The Country of the Blind' concentrates on one character and their perspective of this mythical place, and constructs a comment on the era in which it's written through his opinion. Thematic similarities however are present as both the novel and novella have nearly identical underlying basic themes, yet are displayed in different ways, however reach the equivalent conclusion. 'Of Mice and Men' shows how discrimination and difference within a society, which lacks understanding, can result in serious consequences such as death in Lennie's case, and the parallel event in 'Country of the Blind' where ignorance and scarcity of open minds has the same ramification. The structure in which they're written, with regards to the circular narrative style also provides similarities between the two stories and therefore the above statement does ring true, as both the novels do end where they began with ambiguous endings, involving deaths of the main character. ...read more.

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