Survival Of The Fittest In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Survival of the fittest rules out who is weak and allows the strong to prevail. John Steinbeck introduces this idea in his powerful novella Of Mice and Men. This book is set in the tragic times of the Great Depression in the 1930’s and centers around the migrant workers of a ranch. These men are hardworking and rugged although, there are a few who stand out from the others on the ranch. Crooks, the African American stable buck with a crooked back, Lennie, the monstrous worker who has a childlike attitude, and Candy, the elderly handy man with only one hand as a result of a machine accident. Their disabilities, race and age set them apart from the others and contrusts a widespread false perspective of them throughout the ranch. Steinbeck reveals …show more content…
Crooks is not allowed to be in the white bunk room; therefore, he has his own room in a small shed off of the barn wall. The separation of skin colors at the ranch has always been a “rule” followed by the men until, Lennie comes into Crooks room. Lennie explains his confusion of why the men are separated and Crooks sternly tries to make Lennie understand by saying, “I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain’t wanted in my room” (Steinbeck 68). Crooks is defensive because he wants to have rights and a sense of being in control. Although he does not want Lennie entering at first, Crooks starts to share stories from his childhood with Lennie. This is the first time that Crooks is able to feel a sense of companionship while working at the ranch. Candy comes looking for Lennie and hesitates to enter the room because he understands the segregation that occurs at the ranch. Acting angry, but craving friendship, Crooks says, “ ‘Come on in. If everybody’s comin’ in, you might just as well’ It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger” (75). For once, the isolation fades as Crooks has two other rejected men looking for friendship. When the men decide to leave Crooks’ room, he once again proceeds to feel abandoned. Crooks comes to the realization that because of his skin color the workers view him in a different light, consequently, he is forced to live in …show more content…
Lennie is not normally included with the discussions and activities of the other men. Around others, Lennie is questioned as he dreams off and is always disconnected. This then leads Lennie to be left out from the rest, compelling him to feel rejected. While looking for friendship in Crooks, Lennie states, “‘ Ever’body went into town … George says I gotta stay here an’ not get in no trouble. I seen your light’” (68). The other men go into town without Crooks and Lennie because of their differences. This forces them to create a bond between themselves to receive the companionship they desire. George is always trying to protect Lennie and this includes bringing Lennie into situations he would say or do something wrong. George and Lennie have to establish that when talking to the boss, George speaks for Lennie considering they need this job in order to buy their own farm. This leads the boss to believe George is profiting from Lennie’s work as described when the boss says, “‘Then why don’t you let him answer? What you trying to put over?’” (22). Lennie is a hard worker who is exceedingly capable of any job that needs to get done, but when it comes to holding a conversation, he sounds uneducated and goes off topic. Accordingly, Lennie does not develop strong connections with the ranch hands as they do not take

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