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‘Show How Steinbeck Introduces The Reader To The Realities Of Life For Different, But Ordinary People In The 1930s California, Usa.’

2319 words - 10 pages

‘Show how Steinbeck introduces the reader to the realities of life for different, but ordinary people in the 1930s California, USA.’

Each character in ‘Of Mice and Men’ was different, in terms of class and race, but was also an ordinary being. In effect, each person’s life was ultimately entangled with another’s, and the reality of life for them was one of the most significant events in the novel; explored in great detail by the author, John Steinbeck.

1930s, USA can be regarded as one of the most destructive events in history that shook the world to its core. To this day, we are still living the drastic effects of a chaotic meltdown that drove numerous, innocent lives to their ...view middle of the document...

Their thirst and aspiration was driven by the hope of becoming prosperous and achieving liberation from the major grievances around them. They wanted a place where they would ‘belong’. They wanted a place where they would thrive upon simultaneous and wonderful opportunities.

In the circumstances, the veracity of the situation was that their fantasy was simply unachievable. “I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hundreds of them. They come, an’ they quit an go on, an’ every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head… I read plenty of books out there. Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head.” Crooks’ seemingly sinister views regrettably fit in with the crucible conditions at the time. George and Lennie lived at a time where independence was explicably unlikely. The Great Economic Depression and The Dust Bowl brought with them tormenting effects which had forced vulnerable people like George and Lennie to go West, California, for a new beginning. These devastating barriers had distorted peoples’ perceptions. It had contaminated their beliefs and led them to believe that they could break out of their misery and take up a life of eternal luxury. George and Lennie had fallen into the same category and the bitter reality of life for them was that their dream was ill-fatedly unachievable because they didn’t understand the pandemonium that they had been plunged into.

Whilst George and Lennie share the same, idealistic, enthusiastic dream, they also share a very loyal and compassionate friendship. At a time where man was fighting for his own survival and walking the agonizing path of loneliness, they show a strange likening to each other. Friendship, in theory, is abstract; however it is one of the most important and profound messages that Steinbeck is trying to convey to the reader. “…I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you…” We are given a different approach and understanding of the character that George really is when he eloquently says this quote. On paper, George seems like the leader; he acts as if he doesn’t care. As we progress through the novel, we realise that George’s vague character is exposed to circumstances where he shows his alliance to Lennie, albeit in the smallest of manners. George and Lennie demonstrate a deep sense of companionship for each other in the face of a society in which individuals show little care for each other. “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong to no place… With us it ain’t like that. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” The isolation that a person faced at the time was enough to drive them to a frenzied state. Yet, George and Lennie’s bonding in the conditions that they were thrust into was affectionate, if not mysterious. “Well, I never seen one guy...

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