Opposites In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1689 Words 7 Pages
John Steinbeck is an influential writer that is considered the author of the 1930s. His most famous works are all inspired by the struggles in the Great Depression. All of these works illustrate the importance of relationships. One theme that he depicts is the theme of how opposites do not attract. This is certainly the case in Steinbeck’s short novel, Of Mice and Men. In Of Mice and Men, the two main characters, George and Lennie, experience and see many opposites that do not attract, whether they are characters or the imagery of Salinas Valley in the Great Depression. Steinbeck uses those examples to reveal that opposites cannot make good and stable relationships. In the novella Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck conveys that opposites are not meant …show more content…
Carlson and Candy are two characters that do not seem to meet ends because of personality differences. We can see this when Carlson and Candy state “‘that dog stinks. Get him outta here’... ‘I been around him so much I never notice how he stinks’... ‘He ain’t no good to you… Why’n’t you shoot him, Candy?’... ‘I had him so long’” (Steinbeck 44). Carlson tends to be more decisive and less hesitant in making solutions than Candy is. This shows how different they are because the characters perceive the old dog differently. Carlson identifies the dog as useless and ready to die but Candy sees his dog as a friend. The personality difference is that Carlson jumps straight to the conclusion without thinking twice and Candy hesitates to make a decision at all because Candy kept looking “for help from face to face” (Steinbeck 45). Another character that had to deal with opposites is Crooks. We can see this when Steinbeck states, “Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me” (Steinbeck 68). An obvious opposite between Crooks and “they” is that they have a different skin tone. If opposites were to attract, then white people would accept black people as friends and in this case, letting Crooks play cards with them. Crooks does not seem to like white people because he thinks …show more content…
One example of this kind of imagery is when the author states “The flame of the sunset lifted from the mountaintops and dusk came into the valley” (Steinbeck 10). In the imagery, the reader can catch an opposite; the mountaintops and the valley. They are contrasts because mountaintops are high altitude and valleys are low. The piece of imagery shows how opposites are not meant for each other because it foreshadows George getting frustrated at the fact that Lennie is mentally challenged. The quote represents the difference of intelligence, where George represents the mountaintops because he is clever and Lennie is the valley because he is unintelligent. This shows how opposites are not meant for each other because George would have been working already if Lennie was as cognizant as him, but had to ditch because of contradictory personalities. Another example of imagery of the setting that foreshadows the near future is when the author writes “Although there was evening brightness showing through the windows of the bunkhouse, inside it was dusk” (Steinbeck 39). The opposites in this piece of imagery are that the outside and inside are different; outside is bright and the inside is very dark. The quote is foreshadowing the disagreement that Candy and Carlson had about whether or not to kill off Candy’s dog. Because the quote was meant for foreshadowing, the outside

Related Documents