Essay on How Does Steinbeck Present Disadvantaged Characters

2547 Words Dec 12th, 2010 11 Pages
Explore some of the ways in which Steinbeck presents disadvantaged characters in the novel

In 1937, the American author John Steinbeck published 'Of mice and Men'. Set in the Salinas Valley of California, it conveys the story of the struggles of the American people during 'The Great Depression'.

The Great Depression was a massive devastation throughout the whole of America where people suffered and the economy was at a huge crisis. The Unemployment rose from 3% to 26% and many people had died, showing how hard the citizens coped to survive in-between this difficult period. . The Americans were in a depriving financial state full of high inflation after an economic fall known as the 'The Wall Street Crash'

The nation only helped
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This use of dramatics and panic shows where Lennie is innocent.

From my view I think Lennie is also based upon the theme of an animal, there are areas where Steinbeck refers to Lennie as animal like
“He’s as strong as a bull”
“the way a bear drags his pours”

In addition, Steinbeck uses the comparison of Candy's dog and Lennie to depict the value and status of less mentally capable individuals. Just how candy's dog is eradicated once he becomes 'useless', the same image is created for Lennie as his fate is controlled and chosen by the 'normal' ranch hands. Similarly, The death of Lennie, is constructed as an illustration towards the readers that his own friend kills him because it is a 'necessity'. The author is portraying to his readers that even George, Lennie's tightest companion, shoots him out of sympathy so his friend does not go through the wrath of Curley's torturing death. This conveys to us that the people of the 1930's thought it was right to choose a death of a mentally handicapped because it was 'obligatory',Of mice and men, shows a greater emphasised picture, where a very close friendship is ended.

The dramatics used by Steinbeck when showing us George kills his best colleague Lennie, tells the reader how life was a great hardship for the discrimination against the mentally handicapped, especially when it was very unlikely to see two friends travelling together. The book demonstrates this concept by

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