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What are the main factors that make of mice and men a tragedy?

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Introduction

What are the main factors that make of mice and men a tragedy? There are different things that make a book a tradgedy. It must be dramatic and portray loss with a sense of inevitability. Of mice and men is a tragedy; Steinbeck uses different techniques, characters and settings to convey this. From the start Steinbeck uses a lot of foreshadowing to reflect on things that will happen later in the book and create a tragic sense of inevitability. The death of Candy's dog right at the beginning of the book is a good example of this. Candy's dog is old and as Carlson puts it 'no good to himself,' the others agree that the dog should be killed but Candy is very reluctant. The dog he says he has 'had too long'. It is his only real friend in the world and although killing it would be more humane it is incredibly difficult as he is condemning himself to life of loneliness. ...read more.

Middle

George had not believed it at first treating it like a story; he tells it 'rhythmically as though he had said them many times before,' However When Candy joins the dream it becomes a reality; he says: 'I bet we could swing her!' The fact that the dream has been built up so much, like a fairy tale in which these men escape the society they hate, makes it more tragic when they lose it. There is an inevitability that Lennie will end up doing something really dangerous. At the start of the book he kills the mice, then he breaks Curley's hand and then he kills the dog. The book is building up to a climax we know that even when George thinks it will happen as he says to Lennie: 'If you jus happen to get into trouble like you did before come and hide in the brush,' We retain sympathy for Lennie. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Curley's wife breaks it up by reminding Crooks of his place in an unchanging society. Crooks is left 'rubbing his back' the same lonely activity he was doing at the start of the chapter. Steinbeck is showing the reader that whatever happens society and prejudice stay unchanged. The title of the book 'of mice and men' illustrates the feeling of the book. It is from a poem by Burn. The poem talks about a field mouse trying to survive. It is about trying to survive over a greater force and how this goes wrong. This is foreshadowing what will happen later in the book. This makes the failure of the dream seem inevitable which helps to make 'of mice and men' a tragedy. Curley's wife's life was tragic. She had dreams of doing things she clearly would never achieve and spent her life unhappy and disliked. Steinbeck wants to tell the reader about how American Society in itself was a tragedy. By using the techniques talked about above he can enforce his point by making 'of mice and men' a tragedy. ...read more.

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