Assignment On Of Mice And Men By Pierce

921 words - 4 pages

The physical environment and circumstances that an individual are exposed to, play a major role in the development and outcome of a person's nature and actions. Of Mice And Men, a novel written by John Steinbeck, is a perfect example of individuals molded and created as a result of their surroundings. Of Mice and Men was written during the American society's bleak period of mass depression (in the 1930's). Parallel to this time in history, the author was also experiencing loneliness and despair due to the surmounting turbulence with his first wife. In addition, the Great Depression was putting finality to the dreams of many Americans. John Steinbeck had interviewed many hobos and heard first hand, the mortality of their dreams. This decorum, combined with John Steinbeck's passion for writing, is the inspiration for Of Mice And Men.John Steinbeck in his novel is able to portray, with the introduction of simple characters, "the oppressed victims of economic and natural forces beyond their control " (Bloom53). Through the two main characters, George and Lennie, the writer is also able to outline both the harsh times he was similarly experiencing, in addition to exposing the faults of society through the characters. Originally, Steinbeck had named his novel "Something That Happened" which really suggested the absurdity of life and society. Lennie dies because even though innocent, he was incapable of being a part of a society, which considered him a menace and an animal.The theme of loneliness is repetitive throughout the story and is eloquently expressed by Crooks. "A guy needs somebody--to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick." (Steinbeck 72) During the course of writing this novel, Steinbeck was similarly experiencing, solitude and rejection.John Steinbeck's failing marriage to Carol, his first wife, was becoming more and more evident .By nature, John Steinbeck was shy and had the tendency to socially seclude himself. He tried to overcome this seclusion because in truth, John Steinbeck was afraid of solitude. This is most apparent in his life when he quickly remarried his second wife Gwyn, shortly after divorcing Carol.The death of Candy's dog by the hand of Carlson, not only brings out the despair of loneliness for Candy, but also represents the lack of willingness by the farmhands to find a satisfactory solution to a problem. The farmhands were not willing to compromise with Candy regarding the stench of the old dog, Candy's only companion. John Steinbeck's own pessimism is often repeated in Of Mice and Men. He often stated "the good life is impossible because humanity is flawed" (Steinbeck 85). John Steinbeck's father was described by his son as "a man intensely disappointed in himself" (Reef 12). The character of Curly finds himself disappointed in him when he deeply regrets not killing his faithful companion. Indeed, the fact that man is flawed and the Eden myth is just an illusion, is apparent in both Steinbeck's private life and that of his characters.The setting that John Steinbeck used in Of Mice and Men is a terrain that he is familiar with. The story is set in a dusty, little town called Soledad. John Steinbeck was similarly raised in the small rural town of Salinas, California, with a population of no more than 2,500 people. The town of Soledad, which is also in the Salinas Valley, translates to "solitude" or "loneliness" in Spanish. George and Lennie stand out in Soledad, because they have each other. George says, "We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us" (Steinbeck 42).John Steinbeck yearned for the companionship and contact of a family. It was not until his second marriage, that he became the father of a son. In Of Mice and Men, Lennie also yearned for the companionship of a soft, warm living creature. This craving was satisfied by a dead mouse. The author received satisfaction of human contact by having a son. Shortly after the birth of his first son, his wife gave birth to a second, and last child. Both John Steinbeck and Lennie craved for living contact.In conclusion, John Steinbeck's life experiences provided a deeper dimension to the theme of the novel. The setting between the author's life and that of the characters portrayed in Of Mice and Men are similar. They both took place during the same time frame and faced the hardships that everyone faced during the 1930's. Loneliness is an inevitable fact of life that not even the strongest can avoid. Throughout the story, Of Mice and Men, the reader discovers the sources of solitude experienced by John Steinbeck and his characters George, Lennie, Crooks, and Candy who all suffer its injustices.written by pierce

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