Role Of Migratory Workers In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck uses his experience working as a laborer in Salinas, California to write his novel Of Mice and Men, he shows the isolated and lonely lives of the ranchers in it. The characterization of migratory workers in the novel, such as Lennie Smalls and George Milton, Crooks, and numerous other men as wanting friendships and to escape their isolated lives, proves that even if a dream is shared by many it can still be impossible to attain.
Migratory workers, like the men at the ranch, live a lonely and isolated existence without friendships which causes them to be ill tempered and distrusting. George is talking to Slim in the bunkhouse when he says, “‘I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have
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After Lennie kills his puppy and Curley’s wife, George says to Candy in the barn, “‘he usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.’ ‘Then it’s off?’ Candy asked sulkily. George didn’t answer his question. George said, ‘I’ll work my month an’ I’ll take my fifty bucks an’ I’ll stay all night in some lousy cat house. Or I’ll set in some poolroom till ever’ body goes home. An’ then I’ll come back an’ work another month an’ I’ll have fifty bucks more’” (Steinbeck 94). George knows that Lennie has to either die or be put in jail when he is found, he also knows their dream will not come true without Lennie. Lynn Munro says “Lennie is the keeper if the dream; he does not question it’s inevitable fulfillment, he simply believes. Without his innocence George would be like all the other ranch hands, wasting his money on whiskey and women, drifting aimlessly from one job to the next” (par. 3). Lennie possesses the innocence to believe in the dream, never thinking it won’t come true. George would never believe in the possibility of their dream without Lennie’s motivation and belief for it, this shows how important he is to …show more content…
In his room, Crooks says to Lennie, “‘I never seen a guy really do it,’ [...] ‘I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ever’ time a whore house or a blackjack game took what it takes’” (Steinbeck 76). Due to their weakness when it comes to gambling and having fun, the ranchers don’t possess the motivation it takes to achieve their dreams. According to Steffens, “George, Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife all have the mental capacity to attain the dream but lack the innocent belief that is needed to make it come true” (par.4). This is correct for all the other lonely ranchers with dreams, the problem is that they have limitations on believing in it, and a lack of motivation which make their dreams impossible. In Of Mice and Men, many characters want companionships and to get away from the lonely and isolated ranch life, this demonstrates that even if many people share the same dream it can still be unreachable. In the end, George has to kill Lennie in order to stay a true friend to him by giving him a peaceful death instead of a horrible one. Steinbeck uses the characters in Of Mice and Men to show that humans cannot live isolated lives because of the companionships needed to survive and attain a functional

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