To What Extent Is "Of Mice and Men" More Effective Than Rainman in Giving Us Understandings of Loneliness and Friendship?

1556 Words Mar 30th, 2005 7 Pages
Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" cannot accurately be compared in effectiveness of its themes with the movie Rainman. The importance of each theme differs in both- in Steinbeck's novel, loneliness is the most dominant theme, and in Rainman the major theme is friendship. Levinson and Steinbeck both do a brilliant job at showing the major themes in both materials to the greatest of their potential, and the minor themes are somewhat overpowered because of this.

One extremely clever way that Steinbeck has more effectively conveyed the theme of loneliness to the reader is by never letting the characters develop or change in "Of Mice and Men". Very early in the novel we are introduced to George and Lennie as they are about to start new
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Throughout the course of the story we view major changes in his attitude and ways of thinking. An example of such an instance would be in the beginning of the story. We are shown Charlie's ignorant, narrow minded way of thinking towards Ray's disability, and as the story continues, Charlie's thoughts towards Ray, and how he perceives his mental condition drastically change. By the end of the movie, we see to the full extent of how Charlie's way of thinking and life in general have been changed and affected by Ray. Because of the actions of Charlie throughout the movie, and the way his character has developed, the writer does not accurately portray the theme of loneliness. This is because the viewer is shown and made aware of the growing love and friendship that develops between Ray and Charlie. The main characters, however, are not the only characters who have limited change and growth in Steinbeck's novel. Crooks, the black man, is a prime example. He has to live in the harness room, away from the other men. Because racism was socially acceptable in the book's time frame, he was isolated and degraded. This was a constant in the novel. He was referred to as ‘Nigger' constantly, and was even verbally assaulted by Curley's Wife- a character who was also slandered and labelled, but because of her gender. "Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny." pg 85. None

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