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John Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men: Alienation and Its Influence on People

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The book Of Mice and Men was written to acquaint us with the situation in the United States of America at that time. This writing does not belong to the happy and full of joy kind of literature but, it deserves to be shown in bright light due to interesting ethical problems being touched upon throughout the book. Sometimes authors use their skills to make us aware of the same mistakes that they have made or to make us realize that there are different approaches to every situation. Here pieces of advice are present in the adventures of two men, their main goal is to explore and earn enough money to support themselves. This essay will analyze how the theme of alienation and its influence on our behavior is visible throughout the book. The time is a universal measure but does impact how people look at certain issues.

Of Mice and Men was based on John Steinbeck’s own experience as a bindle stiff, he wrote many masterpieces such as Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden or “Cannery Row”. His career began with publishing the book “tortilla flat” in 1935. The novel was a great success. With every single written book, he was more and more privy in creating. The name, Of Mice and Men, comes from a poem written by Robert Burns ‘To a Mouse’. The title is one of the phrases that Steinbeck has selected and brought out this part, giving it a different meaning. The book tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in order to look for a job during the Great Depression in the United States. While wondering they meet lots of characters like Candy (an aging ranch handyman), and Slim (a driver of a mule team and the owner of the farm) or Curley (son of the farm owner, once a semi-professional boxer).

There are also characters like Curley’s wife: attractive woman, that is being mistreated by her husband. Crooks: the black stable-hand, gets his name from the crooked back or Candy’s dog: A blind “old” and “stinky” dog killed by Stanley.

Of Mice and Men is about loneliness feeling of alienation and hardships that we encounter throughout life. The book focuses on two migrant workers in 1930. Their names are George and Lennie. They’re different from most migrant workers because they travel together when the rest prefers to alienate themselves and stay all alone. Even though clear distinctions can be drawn they still keep doing well. As for reading, we are able to observe situations where characters have an impact on the plot, this action opens up a new perspective that shows a situation from a different angle.

Regarding emotional stability, there is only one thing in life that is needed. Even if what ones need is rather subjective and might differ depending on time there are patterns that can be observed throughout our society. Friends and interpersonal connections that lead to healthy relationships. Sometimes disregarded but with a massive impact on one’s life, behavior and thinking patterns. Without them, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude which as we know from the book are not enjoyable. These feelings lead to low self-esteem and depression which is part of a false cycle that will repeat itself. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, the characters, Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife all exhibit some form of loneliness.

Steinbeck presents a theme of feeling lonely and being depressed which leads to more complicated illnesses. “Crook is a black man that experiences isolation because the society in which he resides is racist”. Although discrimination is still a present issue during the period of time when the book was published, Crooks attempt to make friends and bond with people, but oftentimes the outcome is not positive. Others treat Crooks as someone not equal to them, that might be because he is different from others given that he is black. He does not know how to treat others, the reason why he is responding with the same way in which others treat him. His actions being a mirror image of what other people do to him show us a contrast between something we see a problem and what the actual problem is. We can draw conclusions just from looking at people, at their way of behaving we can bring out that nobody likes to be forced to live in a barn or let alone to work only with the horses.

Crooks spent most of his nights reading, alienated away from others, this act of self-protecting is present in every time period, we isolate ourselves from the stimulus of our problems. This, however, would eventually lead to his very own emotional downfall at the end of the book.

The fact that outside factors such as friends contribute to our general wellbeing is not a groundbreaking discovery, however, it does illustrate the influence environment can have upon us.

Of course, it cannot go without saying that books are a form of boxing certain ideals and extracts of social groups to represent their values, there are not only “bad guys” in it. Individuals such as George care for Lennie, he does so in most parts of the book. His aim to protect Lennie from any harm and does not want anything bad to happen to his friend. If anything wrong would happen to Lennie then George would feel guilty for not being able to protect someone again. Certain themes are present then and now, they are everlasting. A fine representation of that is loneliness or alienation, those themes might be shown from different perspectives however they all have one unified purpose – to illustrate something, to portray the reality in a form of a personalized image.

Everyone needs someone to rely on all the time, this is one of the biological factors that contribute to us – being social animals. For example, George could not let Lennie talk in their interview so they can get the job. If Lennie was to lead the interview with his current cognitive abilities then it would not be successful, most likely. This is why George had to stand behind the wheel and answer in such a way that it would increase their chances of getting a job. People don’t like Lennie because of his foolishness and childishness he is portrayed as a toddler in man’s body and impressive strength. His personality makes him vulnerable to negative comments which are not uncommon.

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a touching tale of the friendship between two men, set against the backdrop of the United States during the depression of the 1930s. Subtle in its characterization, the book addresses the real hopes and dreams of working-class America. The short novel raises the lives of the poor and dispossessed to a higher, symbolic level. Its powerful ending is climactic and shocking to the extreme. But, we also come to an understanding of the tragedy of life. Regardless of the sufferings of those who live it, life goes on. Are able to observe how different issues can have the influence on characters, all of us in a way are bothering with feeling left and abandoned by people around, depression and loneliness are serious threat to face but they are not invincible, around, able to defeat those circumstances. 

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men: Alienation And Its Influence On People. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 26, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/john-steinbecks-of-mice-and-men-alienation-and-its-influence-on-people/
“John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men: Alienation And Its Influence On People.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/john-steinbecks-of-mice-and-men-alienation-and-its-influence-on-people/
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men: Alienation And Its Influence On People. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/john-steinbecks-of-mice-and-men-alienation-and-its-influence-on-people/> [Accessed 26 Sept. 2021].
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men: Alienation And Its Influence On People [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2021 Sept 26]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/john-steinbecks-of-mice-and-men-alienation-and-its-influence-on-people/
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