Symbolism In Of Mice And Men And The Scarlet Ibis

1043 Words 5 Pages
One in seventeen Americans live with a serious mental illness such as, schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder according to the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses. A person living with these mental illnesses can be very difficult to take care of, especially if the circumstances are extreme. The novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, portray the hardships of a person with a mental and physical disorder. Both authors demonstrate the struggles associated with caring for an invalid by utilizing symbolism to represent these characters and by examining the dreams of those struggling for hope. Mental and physical illnesses effected one of the main characters in both stories. In …show more content…
For Lennie, in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck symbolizes Lennie by foreshadowing the old dog that died from a shot to the back of the head where Lennie was shot, “Carlson said, ‘The way I’d shoot him, he wouldn’t feel nothing. I’d put the gun right there.’ He pointed with his toe. ‘Right back of the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.’”(Steinbeck 21), in a way it is foreshadowing the death of the old dog and Lennie’s death. Lennie did a very bad thing, killing a woman, and George had to take action or else something worse would happen to George himself, which meant he had to kill Lennie. Just like the old dog was foreshadowing death to Lennie’s death. As the novella explains, “…George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head,”(Steinbeck 48), and it tells how Lennie’s death and the old dog’s death were symbolized the same way by being shot in the back of the head where the skull and the spine are conjoined. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, Doodle is symbolically compared to a scarlet ibis because Doodle felt like he was out of place, just as the ibis was, because it was from South America that had flown to South Carolina after a hurricane and was out of place, symbolically like Doodle. For example,“Doodle remained kneeling. ‘I’m going to bury him.’”(Hurst 4), and,”For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the …show more content…
In the novella, Of Mice and Men, it goes on about a dream of having the “American Dream” for Lennie and George, and how they are going have their own farm with animals, “‘An’ live off the fatta the lan’,’ Lennie shouted. ‘An’ have rabbits,’” (Steinbeck 7). With this dream that they have, they always had hope, especially Lennie. This hope that he had for this dream made him work towards it everyday so he could get to pet the rabbits and live the “American Dream”. With “The Scarlet Ibis”, there is also hope, but it is hope towards the dream of Doodle being like a normal little boy. Brother doesn’t want to be made an embarrassment because Doodle can’t walk, climb, or swim, and Brother has hope that he can teach Doodle all these things, and the text says, “Doodle and I went down to Horsehead Landing, and I gave him swimming lessons or showed him how to row a boat,” (Hurst 3). Brother really tried to work towards Doodle becoming normal, and Lennie very hard worked towards living the dream with George. They all had hope, and in the end it eventually killed Doodle and

Related Documents