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What do you learn about Steinbeck's view of human nature from reading his novel 'Of Mice and Men'.

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Introduction

What do you learn about Steinbeck's view of human nature from reading his novel 'Of Mice and Men' This essay is about how John Steinbeck represents human nature and the commendable and unfavourable qualities people had during the depression in the 1930s on the west coast of America where the story 'Of Mice and Men' took place and are most definitely still here in the modern day world. The story shows the way different people will react diversely to various situations. In this case, living with the hardships of having to travel to faraway places to search for jobs. It shows how some people can behave overly difficult while others can be calm, friendly and easy to live with. The many characters in the story represent the many different combinations of worthy and unworthy qualities but this essay shall concentrate on three characters - Slim, Curley and Crooks. In 'Of Mice and Men', John Steinbeck uses the character Slim to represent a man who has only the admirable qualities of human nature and seems to possess absolutely no unworthy traits whatsoever. John Steinbeck shows the ideal man who respects and is respected greatly in return. He is known as 'the prince of the ranch' suggesting that he has skill above all the other men in the ranch and able to do things others could not. ...read more.

Middle

Curley's wife in the story expresses how lonely she is with only Curley - 'Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while?' - and this causes jealousy on the part of Curley. On the final time when he is searching for his wife, this jealousy mixed with his unjustified hate for large men finally causes him to lose his temper and attack Lennie for no apparent reason. When 'Lennie was still smiling with the delight at the memory of the ranch' Curley demands 'what the hell you laughin' at?' This shows that Curley at once tries to shout at Lennie for anything. John Steinbeck also writes that Curley 'stepped over to Lennie like a terrier.' This suggests that Curley immediately advances towards Lennie as if preparing to pounce and attack viciously, implying how eager Curley is to take his anger out on Lennie. Lennie's misunderstanding response of 'huh?' seems to infuriate Curley even further although it is said 'blankly' to display that Lennie in fact is unaware of the dangerous situation at that moment, showing his innocence. Finally, Curley's 'rage explodes' indicating that he grows so angry that like a volcano he tries to release all his rage on one subject at once. ...read more.

Conclusion

When all this intolerance affects him, John Steinbeck writes how the anger builds up inside Crooks and finally he tries to release it all when he finds someone he feels superior to- Lennie. Here he shows the ugly side of human nature that can come out of the suffering of prejudice. Crooks uses the supremacy he feels compared to Lennie and tries to scare Lennie by telling him something bad has happened to George. This suggests how some people will try to make someone else feel the pain they are suffering in order to relieve them of it. Steinbeck uses Slim as the virtually perfect person while using Curley as a complete contrast to that as just about the worst possible person but also makes the strong point how even someone so horribly bad as Curley can have the potential for good. He also uses Crooks as a representative of a victim of the bad qualities in life and how that can cause a person to in turn show their bad side. I learnt how some people can be so pointlessly violent and heartless while some people can be peaceful and kind. How everybody can be good yet some people may on purpose show the worst side of a person but others may simply be provoked into losing their temper. How victims of discrimination can became lonely and ultimately become discriminators themselves. ...read more.

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