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John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Of Mice and Men, one of the most well known stories in American literature, is a story of hardship and the struggle to overcome barriers to the American dream. It resonates with readers because Steinbeck's own background influenced a great deal of the novel and brought to it the intensity of his personal experience…
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John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

Download file to see previous pages... Steinbeck chose to portray the struggles of the working class in part because he "grew up in the midst of the struggle for fair labor practices particular to large-scale agriculture that depended on a migrant labor force for economic viability" (Hadella 4).
The Grapes of Wrath won a Pulitzer Prize for literature, but it was also highly controversial, as many people disagreed with the political views that he presented in it. This, however, did not stop Steinbeck from speaking his mind and telling the stories that he wanted to tell. This novel and The Grapes of Wrath were also made into famous motion pictures, which allowed Steinbeck's stories to reach an entirely different set of people, emphasizing the populist appeal of his message. In portraying the struggles of the working class, Steinbeck's novel reached out to many disenfranchised, marginalized people who otherwise had no voice in the larger part of society that depended on their labor in the fields and factories of America to maintain their standards of living. In Of Mice and Men, the characters portrayed are symbolic of the mental anguish and social alienation of American agricultural workers.
Of all of the characters in Of Mice and Men, Lennie is the most important, even though he does not evolve at all throughout the book. When the reader first meets Lennie at the beginning of the book, he is a simply character who loved simple things and this does not change at any point throughout the novel. The argument could be made that Lennie is simply just there, as he does not experience any sort of growth. He is a true innocent, a victim of the harsher world he lives in. He is unable to defend himself throughout the novel, as he is truly good hearted and does not see that there is evil within other people until it is too late. He eventually kills Curley's wife because he simply does not understand the ways of the world. This tragic innocence eventually leads to his own death, symbolic of the death of innocence everywhere.
George has many similarities to Lennie. He is also a very simple man, but he does evolve as the story goes on. He is portrayed as being smarter than Lennie and as somewhat of a guardian for him. He tries to steer him away from harm. In the end, George saves Lennie from a slow and painful death at the hands of Curley, which shows that he has realized that the world is not the idealized place that Lennie believes it is. This shows true friendship, as Lennie would have suffered considerably and he would have died knowing that his ideas on the goodness of people were not true.
Candy is an aging handyman who knows that his best years are behind him and that he will not have a future working on the ranch. His dream is to eventually buy his own land and he clings to this dream, even as it becomes evident that he will never reach it. His innocence is not like Lennie's. Candy clings to the American Dream of prosperity and autonomy when it is literally all he has. He has a deeper understanding of human nature, and yet maintains his faith in the good of humanity. Therefore, he is one of the biggest supporters of Lennie and George throughout the novel and he stays loyal to them, even after learning of how Lennie murdered Curley's wife.
Crooks is one of the people that Lennie trusts, even though he should not. Crooks, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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