Humanity in Of Mice and Men
Following the elaborate celebrations of the roaring twenties came a time America had actually never ever seen the likes of before. The Great Depression. The economy collapsed, hardship increased, and more individuals were looking for tasks than ever in the past. For many Americans, the only thing they needed to hold on to was hope. However, author John Steinbeck thought that even that was gone as well. In truth, he thought it never ever existed in the very first location, and that life wasn’t fair and there wasn’t anything to be done about it. In John Steinbeck’s dispiriting novel Of Mice and Male, the author shows the inhumanity of the human condition by symbolically showing the typical American male and his isolation and problems through characters George Milton and his psychologically disabled buddy Lennie Small as they roam from town to town in 1930’s California.
From the very start of the novel, it appears that George discovers much of his own miseries in Lennie, as is shown when Lennie repeatedly disobeys George, triggering among George’s common frustrated outbursts. While walking along the Salinas River, George notices Lennie playing with something in his pocket, and grows increasingly suspicious when Lennie informs George that there is nothing in his pocket, even after George sees him take something out and hide it in his hand. After questioning Lennie into confessing, it is revealed that Lennie has actually been carrying a small dead mouse in his pocket, despite the fact that George has actually currently scolded Lennie for carrying out that exact same action simply moments ago. In a fit of rage, George reprimands Lennie mentioning, “You crazy fool. Do not you think I could see your feet was wet where you went acrost the river to get it? Blubberin’ like a child! Jesus Christ! A big man like you” (Steinbeck 9). This event, to name a few comparable, represents the theme of living in a terrible world. George, metaphorically representing the typical American male living in the 1930’s, finds every part of the unjust circumstance he is provided to be frustratingly inhumane. George’s feel bitter towards Lennie that so often is shown is explained by Meyer in his post “One is the Loneliest Number: Steinbeck’s Paradoxical Tourist attraction and Repulsion to Isolation/Solitude.” Meyer writes, “Though George looks after Lennie, George typically discovers his buddy to be more of a trial than a blessing given that his psychologically challenged good friend hinders George from the enjoyments in life he most desires: consuming food, drinking whiskey, playing cards, shooting pool, and delighting in the sexual business of ladies. Such impositions anger George, and he is continuously pondering how comfy he would be if he did not have to fret about Lennie” (Meyer 298). George completely comprehends the consequences of dealing with Lennie, yet he doesn’t feel that leaving Lennie behind is a choice. Lennie has cursed George with the frustratingly large concern that he has to offer, removing any staying opportunity of living happily in 1930’s American society.
As the unique advances, it becomes apparent that each character has been given something to hold on to, whether it is a person, an object, or perhaps a mouse. Nevertheless, as the unique advances even more yet, the reader starts to recognize that all of these symbols of hope or happiness or love are ruined in a completely crushing way. Lennie loses his mouse, his object of comfort during difficult times; Sweet loses his pet, his life long companion who is all he has; Curley loses his pride, his only buddy in a location where everybody else rejects him; Criminals loses his rights, the last thing that might possibly be controlled for him in the white man’s America he resides in; George loses Lennie, his buddy who he cares about enough to compromise his own pleasures for; and lastly, George and Lennie lose their dream, their sole inspiration to stand firm in a world with such little hope. After much arguing with Candy, Carlson finally bullies Sweet into letting him shoot Sweet’s old stinky pet dog. Nevertheless, it is apparent that Sweet still does not wish to release his only buddy in his lonely life. Steinbeck writes, “A shot sounded in the range. The guys looked quickly at [Candy] Every head turned towards him. For a minute he continued to stare at the ceiling. Then he rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay quiet” (Steinbeck 49). Sweet loses the only thing he truly appreciates, and yet he never ever had the option to keep it in the first location. Life has actually falsely provided these characters with choices regarding how to live, when in reality there is only one course of misery for them to follow. Lisca describes these repeating courses of anguish in his post “Concept and Pattern in Of Mice and Men.” He writes, “Thus Lennie’s killing of mice and later his killing of the puppy established a concept of action, a pattern, which the reader anticipates to be performed again. George’s story about Lennie and the little lady with the red dress, which he tells two times, adds to this span of pattern, as does the shooting of Sweet’s dog, the squashing of Curley’s hand, and the regular looks of Curley’s spouse. All these actions are patterns of the mice motif and predict the fate of the rabbits and thus the fate of the dream of a “safe location” (Lisca 2). All of these characters lose the something they truly care about in a world that’s currently taken a lot from them; displaying the unreasonable ruthlessness of life worldwide we live in.
Just like Steinbeck’s depiction of America, Curley is constantly discovered in circumstances in which he gives no chance for success, despite how his victim chooses to respond to his abuse. Throughout a video game of cards, Lennie grows curious regarding why the cards have the exact same pattern on each end, and asks George, “Both ends the same. George, why is it both ends the exact same” (Steinbeck 55)? Although Lennie is literally asking George why both ends of the cards look the exact same, this is really Steinbeck’s metaphorical tip that no matter what one does, both outcomes are the very same. This small but significant exchange in between George and Lennie is symbolic of the greater outcome of their lives, the exact same outcome represented by Curley’s definitive power and his mindset in which he gives nobody else on the ranch a possibility to be successful. Steinbeck’s concept of the outcome staying the same no matter the character choices is represented by Curley’s frustrating power to manage the outcome of any scenario he discovers himself in as described in Gurko’s article “Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck as a Manichean.” Gurko writes, “Curley himself seems completely a creature of darkness, a vicious stunted figure seeking to make up for his absence of sexual potency by training himself as a boxer and beating up powerless men larger than himself” (Gurko). Curley’s whole behavior is focused around picking on males who do not possess the power to fight back, paralleling Steinbeck’s representation of an opportunity lacking life in which death is the only release.
The black steady buck Criminals becomes a symbol for the rest of the country when he explains that he too has is own dreams, yet discovers one flaw holding him back. Criminals is the only character, however, to step back and see his scenario from an onlooker’s point of view. He realizes that he is going to be kept back and that he can’t manage his fate, unlike George and Lennie, who think that their dream is just months away from becoming a reality. Since of the smart knowledge that he possesses, Crooks becomes particularly connected to the rights that he does have. In an exchanged between Lennie and Crooks in which Lennie tries to get in Crooks’s room, Crooks states, “You got no best to come in my room. This here’s my space. Nobody got any right here but me” (Steinbeck 68). Crooks’s firm desire for the little bliss of seclusion with his own ownerships shows his wisdom in the understanding of society. He recognizes that he can’t prosper, and as an outcome, he lives the least enthusiastic life out of any other character on the ranch. Attell talks about Crooks’s lack of aspiration in his short article “Introduction of Of Mice and Male.” He writes, “It deserves keeping in mind that in the story George and Lennie’s dream is by no methods unique to them, for it proves likewise to be the dream of ever ranch hand to whom they inform it; Sweet and Crooks, for instance, each ask if they can participate in on the strategy. Sweet, of course, is accepted, while Crooks seems to have second thoughts (Steinbeck likewise commits a big part of chapter to the figure of Crooks, and to a vital exposition of racism in rural California)” (Attell). Scoundrels understands better than to participate in the pursuit of George, Lennie, and Sweet’s silly objective, and can be considered as the smart male in a world of insanely positive fools.
Throughout the unique, the concept of owning their own ranch was always George and Lennie’s fantasy, however when Candy comes and says he would be willing to help spend for it, their fantasy begins to appear as a reality. When George makes the awareness that Candy’s help puts the accomplishing of their dream in the future, he states with eyes filled with marvel regarding the farm they wish to purchase, “Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her. I bet we could swing her” (Steinbeck 60). The ramification of this cheerful scene, nevertheless, is that no matter how close they may appear in their own ignorant minds, they are no closer than they have actually been or than they ever will be. They can’t have the farm. The hope they find in this scene is a blindfold of optimism that can only be eliminated when the truth is exposed as their dream strongly collapses. The twinkle of hope is constantly extinguished, as Reith points out in his short article “Useless Dreams and Stagnancy: Politics in Of Mice and Men: the American Author John Steinbeck Has Actually Often Been Slammed as a Sentimentalist. Duncan Reith Uncovers the Bleak Political Pessimism Behind His Novel of Cattle Ranch Life Throughout the Great Anxiety, Of Mice and Men”. He writes, “Yet at the edges of this desperate gloom, Steinbeck enables us glances of a much better world. The ranch hands play a horseshoe game in which Crooks is permitted to get involved, and the contrived puns on stake of tenement here recommend the possibility of holding home in common. George has advanced from an attitude in the past in Sacramento when he exploited and mocked Lennie to an adult function in which he now looks after him. The novel closes with a difference between those like Carlson and Curley who will never ever comprehend feeling and requirements of others, and those like George and Slim who can understanding and forming relationships but who have to deal with a society so sickened by the struggle to endure that they are pushed into grace killing. Therefore the twinkle of hope for a much better world is violently extinguished” (Reith 3). Hope is merely life teasing George and Lennie for their lack of knowledge. Even when success appears to be just days ahead of them, they are naïve to think that the world they reside in is one where happy endings exist.
Even though he is huge, loud, and aggravatingly incompetent, Lennie is George’s best friend who has been with him for all of his journeys. But George is forced to shoot him in the back of the head, actually eliminating what he enjoys, and crushing his own personal dream. While standing behind him, telling Lennie whatever is going to be alright when he understands its not, George mercy kills his buddy. Steinbeck writes, “And George raised the weapon and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, however his face set and his hand steadied. He shot” (Steinbeck 106). In Steinbeck’s mind, this situation, although apparently not likely, is unavoidable for everyone. The actual killing of Lennie is the metaphorical killing of a dream that can never be fulfilled in this inhumane world. Lennie’s death represents the unavoidable tragedy that awaits all people, as Spilka talks about in his short article “Of George and Lennie and Curley’s Spouse: Sugary food Violence in Steinbeck’s Eden.” He composes, “What makes this ending scary and unpleasant and perplexing is the weight given to all that Lennie represents: if inconsistent worths and affirmed-blameless animality, responsible humanity; innocent longing, grim awareness- it is Lennie’s peculiar mixture of human dreams and animal enthusiasms which matters most. George’s newfound maturity is paradoxically an empty accomplishment: without Lennie he seems more like a horseless rider than an accountable adult” (Spilka). George is lost without Lennie, for life removed the only thing he had in a world where dreams do not come true.
Through displaying the inhumane way of life in which 1930s cattle ranch hands lived, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Male effectively highlights the classic cruelty of the world we live in. Steinbeck desired George and Lennie’s awful fate to be a suggestion to all that human beings can’t live gladly ever after. Optimism is for the oblivious and hope is for the fools. The only true hope that can be discovered is the approval of tragedy instead of the attempted avoiding of it. Without that, the blindfold of optimism stays on the heads of all human beings, while life waits excitedly for the best minute to expose the crushing fact.