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The underlining story in Of mice and men relates to mans inevitable destiny

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Introduction

The underlining story in 'Of mice and men' relates to the American mans inevitable destiny within the mid 1930's. John Steinbecks story is set in California in the mid 1930s where a formidable amount of American men were genuinely lonely and had the tragedy of dispossession. The story centres around two characters, George and Lennie, two bindle stiff workers who are sent from ranch to ranch harvesting wheat, barley and sugar beets. The economical situation was oppressive to the extent that agricultural labouring was the only answer for men like these. In these times the wages were low and living quarters squalid. The powerlessness of the Californian labouring class loomed indefatigably and the opportunity for advancing in society was practically non-existent. Steinbeck's examination of the reality in 'Of mice and men' sets the story a few miles south of Soledad. Soledad is Spanish for "solitude", the intense loneliness and anger engendered by hopelessness. The reader is drawn in by the doomed appeal of Lennie and George, which inevitably shapes their friendship and their dream. ...read more.

Middle

George knows that Lennie is capable of harming people especially nice things that Lennie likes to stroke. This is why George tells Lennie to go back to the brush if anything bad happens. George is clever in pre-empting any situation that might occur with Lennie. The relationship between George and Lennie is one of companionship and genuine friendship but this is burdened by Lennie's mental age defect. George is also a father figure to Lennie having to supervise him most of the time. More characters begin to emerge soon after George and lennie arrive at the bunkhouse. Candy the old swamper, a tall, stoop-shouldered man. Candy, with only one hand has a job as a general cleaner with his old sheep dog, which keeps him company. The other main characters are Curley, the boss's son, a young man, thin with tightly curled brown hair and brown eyes. A nasty jealous man who has a complex about his size and likes to pick on bigger men to satisfy his ego. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most of the language used is colloquial; this gives an authenticity to the book and a real feel for the characters. The story takes a sinister twist when George decides to take time out with slim. Lennie is left alone in the barn whilst tending a pup he had accidentally killed. When approached by Curley's wife he becomes transfixed on her and in a state of panic he breaks her neck. One of the key moments of hope for me in this book was when George realises he could obtain his dream as he says repeatedly; I could swing her! At this point the possibilities of their dream are real. The realisation of George killing Lennie only came into mind, for me when George reached inside his pocket and pulled out the slugger; sat at the hillside bank. Steinbeck makes the novel more powerful by not letting the reader figure out the plot right until the end. This for me was a good ending considering the circumstances. And still the possibilities of George, Candy and the stable buck dreams, are real. The only thing that disappointed me was Lennie's carelessness, nevertheless, I feel the novel was gripping and gave suspense, a thriller. ...read more.

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