Of Mice and Male Chapter 1 Analysis
John Steinbeck’s enduring popularity is mostly the outcome of his capability to weave a complicated imaginary reality from easy components– basic language, easy characters, easy methods. Among the strategies he uses consistently is the juxtaposition of the human and the natural worlds. He frequently– as in The Grapes of Rage– alternates short natural vignettes with the parallel struggles of humankind. Of Mice and Male, as is clear from the title alone, functions this parallelism as well.
It is an unique about the natural world– “of mice”– and the social world– “and males.” The relationship between these 2 worlds is not one of conflict but of contrast; he welcomes us to witness the similarities between the human and animal worlds. The title, Of Mice and Guy, originates from an eighteenth-century poem by Robert Burns entitled “To a Mouse.” This poem includes a couplet that has actually ended up being widely known and priced quote: “The best laid schemes of mice and guys/ Gang oft aglay.” That last expression, composed in Scottish dialect, translates as “often go wrong. As will become clear, the quotation relates straight to our two lead characters, who do indeed have a “scheme” to get out of the cycle of poverty and alienation that is the migrant worker’s lot: they plan to buy a farm of their own and work on it themselves. Lennie pictures this future possibility as near to heaven– he can picture absolutely nothing better than life with “the bunnies.” Their action in the book is mainly motivated by a desire to attain the self-reliance of this farm life. Hardship, in Burns’ work in addition to Steinbeck, draws the human and the natural worlds better together.
During the Great Depression, in which the book is set, workers were thrust from relative comfort to fend for themselves in a cruel and uncaring world. They face the original obstacles of nature– to feed themselves, to fight for their stake. Hardship has actually minimized them to animals– Lennie a ponderous, powerful, imbecilic bear; George a quiet, computing, scrappy rodent of a male. Notification how regularly the 2 guys, particularly Lennie, are described in animal similes: Lennie drags his feet “the way a bear drags his paws” (2) and drinks from the pool “like a horse” (3 ).
Lennie even thinks about residing in a cave like a bear. Obviously, Lennie’s vision of nature is hardly sensible; he thinks about nature as full of fluffy and cute toys. He has no idea of the darkness in the natural world, the competitors and the cruelty. He would not have the faintest idea how to feed himself without George. In this too the men stabilize each other: George sees the world through suspicious eyes. He sees only the darkness where Lennie sees just the light.
George might grumble about how difficult it is to look after Lennie, but this problem appears to ring hollow: in fact, George requires Lennie’s innocence as much as Lennie requires George’s experience. They match each other, total each other. Together, they are more than the singular and miserable nobodies making their migrant earnings during the Depression. Together, they have hope and uniformity. George’s problem– “Life would be so easy without Lennie”– and Lennie’s counter-complaint– “I could simply reside in a cavern and leave George alone”– are not really genuine.
They are staged, hollow dangers, like the dangers of moms and dads and children (“I’ll pull this cars and truck over right now, mister! “). Likewise, George’s story about how “things are going to be,” with bunnies and a vegetable garden and the fat of the land, likewise has a formulaic quality, like a kid’s bedtime story. Kids (like Lennie) enjoy to hear the exact same tale duplicated numerous times; even when they have actually the story memorized, they enjoy to talk along, anticipating the significant turns in the story and correcting their parents if they overlook any details. The bunnies” is Lennie’s bedtime story, and while George isn’t precisely a parent to Lennie, he is nevertheless parental. George is Lennie’s guardian– and in securing Lennie, George is in result safeguarding innocence itself. Steinbeck’s plots are as simple and carefully refined as his characters. Each subject discussed– the lady who wrongly thought that Lennie was attempting to rape her, the mice that Lennie crushes with love, George’s order that Lennie return to the campsite if anything goes wrong– will enter into play in the chapters to come. Keep these details in mind as we continue.