Power in of Mice and Male
Power By Maria Liddy The theme of power prevails throughout the unique Of Mice and Male. Steinbeck utilizes different techniques and strategies to develop the dynamics of power on the cattle ranch. In the first extract, George and Lennie are in the brush and we get a strong sense of George’s parental control over Lennie, however it likewise shows how Lennie’s physical stature offers him a degree of power over George. In extract 2 we satisfy Curley for the first time, and his authority over the ranch employees is clearly asserted through the different methods which Steinbeck describes him.
And finally, in extract three, we see the very first fight of the book. The battle is extremely varied in how it portrays power. At various phases in the battle some people have more authority over others and we see how the workers feel more effective together instead of individually. In this extract the ‘hierarchy’ of power on the ranch is really shaken up. Extract one concentrates on George and Lennie’s relationship. Even from the start words such as “timidly”, “softly”, and “gently”aid to establish the dynamics of their relationship.
These words represent Lennie as a weak, nearly delicate character in contrast to words such as “jerked”, “grimaced”, and “bastard”which depict George as restless and frustrated, nearly like an exasperated moms and dad. Steinbeck uses a wide range of exclamation marks to emphasise George’s aggravation. Ellipses are also used throughout the extract to demonstrate how Lennie thinks twice and falters though his sentences. This clearly shows that he is not able to recall information and is, sometimes, extremely nervous. This reiterates the truth that George holds the reins of power in the relationship.
It is considerable, maybe, that Steinbeck explains George as a “little guy”. It points out that physical stature does not relate power in this relationship. If this was not true the tables would be turned as Lennie towers over George, which is why it is unusual that he is so dependent on George. This actually shows how Lennie is less effective. Lennie’s metal special needs makes him susceptible since he is unable to retain info. This is revealed through Lennie’s very basic language. “. But it didn’t do no great” Steinbeck likewise uses many question marks to demonstrate how Lennie is constantly sking concerns and for that reason continuously seeking guidance from George, and once again, that’s what gives George the edge over Lennie. When discussion moves to the bus tickets and work cards Lennie understands that he does not have his. “He looked down at the ground in misery” which shows that he repents and possibly a little frightened of George’s reaction, but Steinbeck then goes on to say that George took obligation for both of the work cards, knowing that Lennie could not be relied on. This, again, demonstrates the balance of power and reveals that both George and Lennie understand how much power the other has.
After searching for his work card in his pocket, Lennie take out a mouse to which George responds sharply. “What ‘d you take outta that pocket?” George’s tone is accusatory which reveals that he is astute. He then continues to bombard Lennie with questions, which offers Lennie the chance to demonstrate another kind of power– his shrewd. He tries to deceive George. “Ain’t a thing in my pocket” Although childlike, this sentence reveals that Lennie’s mind has the ability to consider plans. How would he keep the mouse? By trying to deceive George.
Eventually, George’s patience uses thin and he exclaims “Give it here!” screaming at Lennie like a moms and dad. Throughout the extract George concerns a multitude of orders to Lennie. “You ain’t gon na say a word”, “We’re gon na work”, “You jus’ stand there”. These commands show simply how flexible Lennie is and how George uses his power to make Lennie comply. George also utilizes idle risks to control Lennie. “… if I didn’t have you on my tail”. This, once again, shows George’s adult control over Lennie and goes hand in hand with his usage of the dream to make Lennie work.
Simply as a kid would get no presents at Christmas, Lennie would not be enabled to tend the bunnies if he steps out of line. But, as much as George chastises Lennie, he does provide him proper support. “Good young boy. That’s swell.” Extract two concentrates on Curley. When he goes into the bunkhouse his authority over the cattle ranch workers ends up being extremely apparent. Steinbeck says that “he wore a work glove” and “he used high-heeled boots”. The easy truth that Curley needs to wear particular items of clothing recommends that his authority is somewhat synthetic rather than Slim, whose power comes naturally.
It is important to keep in mind how Curley’s body language changes when he notices the brand-new guys. He “glanced coldly”, “his hands closed into fists” and “his glimpse was at when determining and pugnacious”. This type of body movement is very aggressive and he utilizes it to control the guys. “Lennie squirmed under the look and moved nervously on his feet” which reveals that Curley’s power is really apparent and he continues to assert his power by attacking Lennie’s individual area and talking to him with a very brusque tone.
Curley fasts to face Lennie, as he seems like Lennie will be a threat dure to his size. “Let the huge guy talk.” Lennie is uncertain of how to react to this and “twisted with humiliation” which shows simply how incapacitated he is. As typical, George defends him and obstacles Curley’s power. George has an extremely monosyllabic tone of voice when talking to Curley which shows that he does not feel the requirement to elaborate and is maybe being defiant. “Yeah, it’s that way. “
Lennie looks helplessly to George for instruction when offered the possibility to talk which again shows George’s power over him. Eventually, when Lennie does speak, he speaks “gently” which suggests a lack of power and possibly a degree of uncertainty. Curley begins to get aggressive with Lennie, but the anger is totally unprovoked. Even Candy watches out for Curley’s power and “looked cautiously at the door to make sure nobody was listening” before informing George that Curley is in charge’s son which he is “quite handy”.
In this role, authority is implicit and Curley evidently has a lot of physical power if he is being described as “convenient” by the other ranch employees. This is essential to keep in mind in extract three when Lennie and Curley have a battle. At the start of extract 3, Curley feels his power is being threatened by Carlson. He uses extremely authorial body movement to regain this power but it is in vein as the cattle ranch workers feel comfortable standing up for themselves when they are together. Carlson lectures Curley on how he isn’t as powerful as he likes to think.
Candy “joined [Carlson’s attack] with joy” and this is far from how Sweet was acting at the end of extract 2. Once again, the ranch workers feel more secure in big groups. Maybe Curley decides to combat Lennie because he wishes to show his strength and feels that Lennie is the weakest of the employees, for that reason, the most convenient to eliminate. Curley “stepped over to Lennie like a terrier”. Here Steinbeck, yet once again, uses a simile to explain the invasion of Lennie’s individual area. “Then Curley’s rage blew up” and he uses a great deal of curs to provoke Lennie.
This can be compared to George’s language and how he curses at Lennie calling him a “big bastard”. Maybe Curley’s response is so vicious due to the fact that he is afraid of being humiliated in front of the workers. “Lennie looked helplessly at George” which shows that he is weak, however more so susceptible. Yet once again, he looks to George for instructions. At first, Lennie does not fight back because he understands that if he gets himself into problem he will not be enabled to tend the rabbits, although when Curley begins getting extremely violent George motivates Lennie to combat back. Get him, Lennie. Don’t let him do it.” The truth that Lennie needs to be informed by George to secure himself reveals simply how much management George has when it concerns Lennie. The line “I stated get him” also emphasises George’s control. Lennie, nevertheless, redeems himself and crushes Curley’s hand. Lennie is so adamant to do what George has actually informed him to do that he stills hangs on to Curley’s fist despite the fact that George is slapping him and informing him to stop. “George slapped him in the face again and once again, and still Lennie hung on to the closed fist. In conclusion, I think it is difficult to define the most powerful guy on the ranch as Steinbeck presents many different types of power; inherent, physical, implicit, adult etc. Throughout all three of the extracts the balance of power shifts frequently, however authority is always apparent. Steinbeck reveals it extremely skillfully and discreetly, nearly controling the reader to expect particular responses from certain characters which is why I discover these extracts so engaging to read.