John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

1498 Words Feb 10th, 2015 6 Pages
The turn of the twentieth century brought upon new, controversial forms of literature that caused people rethink their entire outlook on life. This literary movement was known as Naturalism. Unlike its predecessor, Realism, which focused mostly on literary technique, Naturalism focused on philosophical theories. Naturalism can be simply described as applying scientific and philosophical viewpoints to literature in order to identify underlying causes of a person’s behavior. Naturalists believed that a person’s circumstances, whether they be hereditary or social, ultimately determine a person’s behavior throughout life (Rhan). Every aspect of a human was thought to be directly related to the natural world. Human beings were thought of as “human beasts,” a phrase coined by French Naturalist writer Emile Zola. The main goal of Naturalism was to understand and explain human behavior using scientific methods of writing. Literature of the Naturalistic era contained aspects of Darwinism, violence, determinism, pessimism, and so much more (Scheidenhelm). A widely popular novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, has very evident aspects of Naturalism throughout the plot of the story. Set during the 1930s, this short novella tells the story of two friends, George and Lennie, who are traveling together to find work on a farm. They hope to earn enough money to one day have their own land, which was the common American dream of the time. Lennie is mentally challenged, which causes many…

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