Powerlessness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Improved Essays
The book Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck is a tale about two men who are immigrant workers back in the 1930’s and their journey through life. Throughout the book, the reader learns about two men, George and Lennie, and the troubles they face being migrant farm workers. George is a short man with strong features while Lennie is tall and less defined. In the book you discover the dream the two men have, their past struggles, and how they face each day. There are dozens of themes and lessons presented in this book about life and the beauty of California. Some of the main themes in this book are powerlessness, nature, and my brother’s keeper.
The first theme present in this book is powerlessness. One example of powerlessness is Crooks
…show more content…
Since Lennie’s aunt died, George has taken care of Lennie. They grew up together and have traveled together for a long time, so it happened naturally that they would take care and look after one another. In this example, George is commanding Lennie what to do like a parent would do to there child. “‘Lennie!’ He said sharply. ‘Lennie, for God’ sakes don’t drink so much.’ Lennie continued to snort into the pool. The small man leaned over and shook him by the shoulder ‘Lennie. You gonna be sick like you was last night’” (Steinbeck 3). Another way Steinbeck used the theme of my brother’s keeper was when George and Lennie were at the riverbed, and Lennie told George that he could go live in a cave and not bother him, if that was what he wanted. But then George insists on Lennie staying with him because he knew that Lennie would die if he lived by himself. Also I think that George would get lonely if Lennie wasn’t with him. “‘If you don’t want me, you only jus’ got to say so, and I’ll go off in those hills right there- right up in those hills and live by myself. An’ I won’t get no mice stole from me.’ George said ‘I want you to be with me Lennie. Jesus Christ, somebody’d shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself. No, you stay with me. Your Aunt Clara wouldn’t want like you running off by yourself, even if she was dead’” (Steinbeck 13). Finally, one of the last ways my brother’s keeper is shown in this …show more content…
Some of the biggest ones presented are powerlessness, nature, and my brother’s keeper. One way powerlessness is shown is with Curley’s wife. Not only does she have no power or control over Lennie when he is holding onto her, but she also has no control over who she can and can not talk to on the ranch or what she’s allowed to do. Another theme shown is Nature. This is shown constantly threw out the book. A couple examples are when Steinbeck describes the river George and Lennie rest at, setting up the night of the morning, or when Steinbeck is describing what the view looks like on the ranch. Finally, one of the last themes you see a lot of is my brother’s keeper. This is shown whenever George is bossing around Lennie, taking care of him, yelling at him, or telling him what he needs to do. For example, when he takes his puppy out of it’s cage, George has to tell Lennie to go put it back. Life isn’t like this for most people anymore. They do not have to work hard farming to make a living or worry about never settling down because they have to constantly be moving around to find work. But people today still struggle to find a job, or they lose someone important to them. I know personally I can relate to a lot of these characters, and I bet most of the readers can

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Reluctantly, he agrees. After a couple days, Candy realizes his mistake: he is never getting his companion back, and is possibly going to be lonely forever. With no one to talk to now, Candy decides to tell George how he feels, “He said miserably, ‘You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me.…

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Did George Kill Lennie

    • 506 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Lennie still wanted the ranch but George and Lennie didn't have enough money for it and if they went back then Lennie would have gotten killed by Curley. George didn't want to do it but he had no choice. George put him out of his misery because Lennie was gonna die whichever way he went. At one point in the story, Candy has his dog which is really old and struggling to live. Carlson says he should kill it and put the dog out of its misery.…

    • 506 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Loneliness In Mice And Men

    • 1480 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Losing a friend in that fashion made Candy wish that that he himself would die the same way his dog died as shown in the following quote. “When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me. But they won’t do nothing like that. I won 't have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs” (Steinbeck 60). When Candy becomes too old and incapable of working, he knows that just like his dog, he will not be wanted.…

    • 1480 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “I want you to stay with me, Lennie. Jesus Christ, somebody’d shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself, No you stay with me. Your Aunt clara wouldn’t like you by yourself, even if she is dead”(13). George is comparing Lennie to a wild animal a coyote. The author used this literary device to show the pity that George has on Lennie by comparing him to a coyote.…

    • 944 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Illustrating an example of the scene where Lennie kills the dog, “‘Why do you got to get killed?...George ain’t gonna let me tend no rabbits…”’ (85). Lennie believes if George finds out he killed the dog he won’t be able to tend the rabbits. It’s self evident that Lennie doesn’t want to disappoint George therefore Lennie will try any mends mean to fix the situation. During the fix Curley’s wife comes which put the outcome differently that lead to one and final decision. Speaking of Curley’s wife coming in during one scene, “‘George gonna say I done a bad thing...You gonna get me in trouble jus’ like George says you will…”’ (91).…

    • 784 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Theme Of Loneliness

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Later on when Candy is talking to George he tells him he regrets letting Carlson shoot his dog, “I oughtta of shot that dog myself George. I shouldn’t oughtta let no stranger shoot my dog.”(Steinbeck, 61). Candy knew his dog was getting old and needed to be put down, but he didn’t have the heart to do it because his dog was his only friend. Candy also saw himself in his dog. A while back Candy got his hand caught in a machine, so now he sees and old disabled man who will be thrown off the ranch as soon as he is no longer able to swamp the bunkhouse.…

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    George wants Lennie to know that they are lucky to have each other. He paints a picture into Lennie’s mind that without him, he would suffer loneliness just as the other ranch hands feel. The moment Lennie first noticed that he was being a pest to George he went on and said, "If you don ' want me I can go off in the hills an ' find a cave. I can go away any time" (Steinbeck 12). It begins to register to Lennie that he doesn’t ever want George to abandon him.…

    • 1148 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I think that there was no time to go hide and escape so Lennie could have suffered. Have you ever seen those commercials about how owners and dog pounds have to put down animals? Imagine it like this Lennie is an animal, he’s getting sick and ill and too old there wasn’t a reason to let him suffer. What if George did tell him to leave, go find a cave and disappear? How would you feel if your best friend you’d known for several years said that to you and didn’t want anything to do with you?…

    • 1240 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Instead, George ends the discussion by remarking how Lennie will probably go out and sleep in the barn with his new friend. Despite what might have been said in the earlier discussion between George and Slim, it becomes clear how much George does truly care about Lennie. How much George cares is demonstrated in the final scene of the book. Lennie is hiding in the bushes near the stream where he and George had camped at the beginning of the story. He has just accidentally killed someone by breaking their neck unintentionally.…

    • 1412 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In “Of Mice And Men” by John Steinbeck, two interlinked deaths are the deaths of Curley’s dog and Lennie. Comparing with the death of Lennie, which is the ending of the book at the meantime, the death of the old dog who was belonged to Candy can be regarded as an omen. Firstly, one point is that both the old dog and Lennie are unwanted to most people. Secondly, another aspect is that Candy is incapable to prevent his dog from being killed by Carlson, exactly as George’s inability to guard Lennie’s life. Thirdly, Candy said after the death of the dog, he wishes the killer was himself rather than someone else.…

    • 1036 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays