Perfectibility In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

568 Words 3 Pages
In John Steinbeck's nobel prize acceptance speech Steinbeck claims that writers who do not believe in the capability of man’s perfectibility aren’t dedicated to literature. Although Steinbeck made this claim, after reading his fictional novel, Of Mice and Men, he doesn’t convey his same belief with the characters in the book. The book is filled with characters that are flawed in some way or another. Some may have that capability but there are some that don’t in this book by Steinbeck. With that said, Steinbeck doesn’t convey his belief of man’s perfectibility in his novel with characters Candy, Crooks, and Lennie.
The character Crooks isn’t capable of perfectibility because of the segregation directed toward him. As an example of this segregation
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Candy isn’t taken seriously throughout the course of the novel especially with his age which makes him a pushover. Talking about his recently passed dog candy says, “‘They says he was no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody shoot me. But they won’t do nothing like that. I won't have no more place to go an’ I won’t have no more jobs”’(60). In the book Candy, it is can easily be seen that Candy is of old age. Once he is no longer of use to the ranch, they will throw him out, leaving poor old Candy to fend for himself at that age. Candy would be considered helpless and a perfect man could never be helpless. The potential for perfectibility leaves him as people begin to realize that he won't be able to complete his tasks. Another example of Candy’s imperfection occurs when Candy recalls his dead dog with George present. “‘I ought to have shot that dog myself, George I shouldn't ought to let no stranger shoot my dog”’(61). Candy regrets the shooting of his dog. Carlson was in such a haste to get the smell of the dog out of the bunkhouse, Candy didn’t have to think about what he wanted to do. No one ever really considered how Candy would feel about this decision. He wasn’t able to put his own do out of misery. They didn't take him seriously. A man who is capable of perfection is taken seriously while age isn’t a

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