Analysis of ‘Of Mice and Guys’ by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Guy draws its thematic motivation from the simplified yet touching lives of 2 migrant employees throughout and after the difficult times that followed the Great Depression. It is informed in a way that the characters appear palpably genuine without the tiniest hint of being too contrived and exaggerated.
The composing design in which the play-novelette is informed bespeaks the honesty of the narrative that call throughout the whole story. The kind of sincerity that made the unique its location in the literary canon as one of one of the most Challenged Books of the 21st Century (American Library Association), and has actually gotten infamy among a few of the critics, schools and literary organizations for its obvious “vulgar” and “offending” language.
In the upgraded report of the American Library Association, the play-novelette has racked up an excellent resumé of numerous citations from schools and of groups who have actually attempted to remove the book from their shelves for its profanity and foul language. Recent records show that in the years 2000-2003 alone, five highschools across the nation have mentioned the work as challenged since the book contains “racial slurs, blasphemy, violence, and does not represent standard worths (American Library Association)”.
Certainly the work includes specific product as can be gleaned from the discussion and the numerous sexual and racial recommendations. Yet precisely due to the fact that of the forthright and sometimes unapologetic treatment in its writing, the story comes to life at full force with its brute however genuine technique. The author is to be admired, and possibly the work be offered complete credit too, for not jeopardizing the integrity of the material for a cleaner and more appropriate version.
The story could not have actually been possibly told in any other way. For if it were to be filtered off of its needed antecedents vis-à-vis its primary thematic agenda, in the manner that they are scurrilous to the senses, then it would be better that the novella had actually not been composed at all. It would certainly fall flat on its face had the product content were stricken off under censure. There is no better way to tell the story than to tell it as natural and realistic as possible. John Steinbeck accomplished this rather skillfully and totally in his novella.
A fast survey of literary curriculum throughout the various universities would show that the book is acquiring a strong grip in schools and other teaching places. The work is being taught as a vital part of American Literature along with other questionable works of the century: The Lord of the Flies, William Golding; The Color Purple, Alice Walker, To Eliminate a Mockingbird, Harper Lee among others. Incidentally, these are the exact same books noted as banned and challenged (Doyle) too.
Furthermore, there are teaching and study guides available for the work that would enable a sharper and extensive understanding of its context and characters. The Instructor’s Guide to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, for instance, is “designed to help teachers in moving the trainees beyond the surface area story of Steinbeck’s novella” (Reed, 2). Accordingly, the guide acts as a tool to forewarn the readers of the mature material of the story, however offers a detailed procedure to see past the rough adornments of the work and prepare the class for a fantastic and enjoyable discussion.
Genuinely, the work is more than just an outburst of stark images and candid language. The substance underneath the surface provides a plenitude of styles and themes allowing a much better gratitude of modern-day literature. In short, the story not only gives a glimpse of the lives of two people making their way through one of the toughest periods in American history but it also uses a reasonable province of what it must have resembled then.
We completely enter into the precise consciousness of those who have absolutely nothing, not even a location to remain or all set food to eat. All that they have are dreams and plans for a better future. These include visions of lastly having a cattle ranch to own and look after without fretting about where to get their next nourishment and means of livelihood.
At the very start, George Milton absolutely communicates his wish to discover a way to settle amidst the rough and unsteady times to Lennie Small, who like him, shares the exact same degree of faith and passion of hitting it big at some point. George starts to rile Lennie for holding him back with his lack of ambition and in some way by being much an excess of misfortune: “Without you I might live so simple. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no problem. No mess at all, and when completion of the month come I might take my fifty bucks andgo into town and get whatever I desire” (Steinbeck, 4).
He continues to take off in such way of furious anger because Lennie simply isn’t getting the very same picture he has of fantastic days ahead for both of them. He finally confides to Lennie, as a sign of real relationship in difficult times possibly, “O.K. Someday- we’re gon na get the jack together and we’re gon na have a little home and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and-” (7 ).
The discussion continues with Lennie prodding George to paint and repaint, so to speak, the future that lies ahead for both of them. There is talk of a veggie spot, rabbit hutch and chickens, fire in the stove when it rains at winter and of other enjoyable things (8 ). Each time that such dream and imagination is let loose, George and Lennie expose their naturally poignant humor, more like the humility to expect grand results out of basic desires of their hearts that sort of encourage them every night for the day of work that will soon be available in the early morning.
Likewise, this routine of seeing themselves in methods they wish to have had them persuaded of the certainty that these dreams will eventually become a reality. So much so that George threatens to surrender Lennie’s location in their pictured lives if he gets them into another difficulty again (10 ), and Lennie, for all his innocence and goodness, seem to understand what is at stake and is simply as taken as the strength of George’s promises.
In reality later in the story, bad Lennie was so collared with fear at the thought of being plugged by Curley for no factor at all, he remembers the pact that night and with a face bent with thought and unhappiness meekly states, “If I get in any trouble, you ain’t gon na let me tend the rabbits.” (14 ).
Early on and till the death of Lennie, his character is marked by rigidness and subservience, what with his inability to believe for himself, much less act under his own terms, without having to browse the (dis)approval in George’s face. His lack of imagination, the spineless mindset he has with regards to the method he enables other individuals to treat him, his unusual lack of knowledge to much of society’s mores and his inappropriate habits when it pertains to dealing with individuals, among others, lend the notion that at a time of severe conditions, a person like Lennie will not survive for long.
Put more clearly, Lennie’s character as a simpleton produces the sensation of both sympathy which of exasperation for it. In spite of his physical strength, which has offered him a specific benefit over the others, his dull mind simply offset it. The naiveté of which he continuously shows, put him out of touch of reality and in a position whereby everything and everybody above will roll down to crush him.
Lennie Small symbolizes the meek of the world that are to be damaged by those who have the power to do so. Likewise, curiously enough, his name even suggests his status in the society he belongs. Very few understand him as an individual in the story. Only George, who has actually been there for him as a friend and companion because childhood, values and can attest his worth on the planet (15 ).
However, the dim-witted Lennie gives the story a gripping climax at the end. His role might be bland and very little, with no characteristics of change and development whatsoever at different points of the narration, but the treatment of his character is justified with how the story reaches denouement at the height of tragic drama caused by the inequities and bias in an intolerant neighborhood. It is the very reason the story can be considered a modern catastrophe in the Aristotelian sense.
This is not a lot because Lennie had to die in the hands of his only buddy, however since the author makes us understand that individuals Lennie signifies are eventually given the gallows, in a way of speaking, simply since, by their very nature, they are totally defenseless versus the perpetual predispositions of society.
Simply put, the terrible character of Lennie is doomed for termination generally for the severe defect of being incompatible and misconstrued within his social sphere. Sooner or later, society is bound to weed out the outcast no matter just how much he remains and avoids it (50 ).
On the other hand, George has actually effectively secured Lennie up till scenarios have actually turned versus their grand prepare for the future, where the certainty of rescission and conclusion has actually become inevitable. It is the least and last of fortunes towards their friendship that Lennie need to not suffer the lynching of the mob, however through the person who comprehends and cared for him most.
The last act of kindness in between them, no matter how bitter, was for George to save Lennie from the upset mob by ending Lennie’s life and guaranteeing his permanent escape from everyone; hiding Lennie where nobody can get to him.
George is the specific reverse of Lennie’s character. He is an idealist, a man of action and definitely a person who understands how the world works. George has the ability to think of a much better future and has the resolve to understand his strategies. The effect of his dominant character over the mild-mannered Lennie is such that he turned him (Lennie) as his blind fan and a continuous companion. No matter Lennie’s incompetence and oftentimes string of misadventures that get them into problem, George is committed to take care of the welfare of his good friend with little or no hearken for reprisals and threat.
Although George and Lennie went around places and did things together, George’s character is more developed. He is able to interact with other people and in fact, did so in order to break in Lennie to society, and was always at his defense whenever the predatory nature of society brings it alarmingly close to their closed and special sanctuary.
It would seem that George’s strategies are inspired by his desire to safeguard Lennie from everybody. In order to achieve this, he has to have the resources to cut themselves away far afield the harsh province of males and be also devoid of bias and possible hurt.
Nevertheless, regardless of their contrasts, both nonetheless share the same dream of safety and financial and social security, where they will not need to worry about anything. He highly thinks in the stories that he constantly tells and retells Lennie. It takes both the kind and usage of as a pacifier for Lennie and an objective statement for George.
In other words, their relationship is established on the single aspiration to do well. The unique discreetly establishes the dependence of both characters to each other that upon the disappearance of one, the other too is most likely to disappear. The moment George shot Lennie, not only did Lennie die but together with him passed away the hopes, dreams and visions they both had ever since. Possibly completion is only a fitting conclusion to the truism that all the well laid strategies of mice and males are brought to naught, and leaves one in sorrow and discomfort for assured pleasure.
In hindsight, Lennie and George sort of bring to fruition the travails and reception of John Steinbeck’s magnum opus of modern tragedy in his work Of Mice and Male. The characters and their fates reflect that of the book’s own experiences about the sort of welcome the critics, scholars and institutions have actually offered it. Inasmuch as the work was mainly dismissed as too bombastic and horrible to the sensitivities of the contemporary audience, this echoes, as if by a final literary paradox, Lennie’s fate of rejection and bias.
Luckily, the work did finally in fact capture the attention of the started audience and has actually currently been given the proper merit it genuinely should have. In its defense are the george’s, so to speak, of the literary circle who acknowledge the effective implications of the play-novelette to contemporary literature.
It even more opened the doors to a more sensible, genuine and provocative narration of stories that are carefully linked with historic context. What better method to illustrate a duration of social and political advancement through fiction than a sincere and honest exposition of reality then and of reality that is to come?
The only trustworthy sources of fiction and literature see long to catch a specific consciousness at a particular time are those that incisively cut to the thick of things to tell a story so near to fact and truth, and nothing else– without restraint or compromise whatsoever.
Doyle, Robert. 2004 Banned Books Resource Guide. New York: American Library Association, 2004.
Reed, Arthea. An Instructor’s Guide to the Penguin Edition of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Male. New York City: Penguin Press, 2005.
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.
The American Library Association. 11 Nov. 2007. The American Library Association. 10 Dec. 2007 <