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Lennie Small, Curley's wife, George Milton, Curley, Crooks, Slim, Carlson, The Boss, Candy
It was intended to be a play of 30,000 words, which is why it has a dynamic structure.
Tragedy, betrayal, anger, social relationships, Napoleon complex, despair, loneliness, mental illness.
As a book that has been banned more than once in the United States, it was named as one of the most challenging books of the 21st century because of the complex issues it brings up and the portrayal of tragedy where no one but the difficult times are to blame.
The book revolves around George and Lennie, two itinerant workers, during the 1930s in a place with a symbolic name "Soledad", which stands for the Spanish word "loneliness". The entire story is fit into four days that slowly end up in a tragedy when George kills Lennie. The book also deals with a mental disability, which can be seen in Lennie's portrayal of schizophrenia. This complex mixture of tragedy and the loss in Steinbeck’s book tell the tale of loneliness and the ways how anger and the lack of any hope end up in death, both mental and physical.
In simple terms "Of Mice and Men" tell about life during the Great Depression era and the acts people have done to survive. John Steinbeck did not choose a special setting that would tell a single story, but opted for a different plot where people have made hard decisions for other persons as well. It was a way of survival without compromise or thinking twice. As Steinbeck often said himself, it is not the tragedy itself but a reflection of times and loneliness that drove people insane. It is a reason why this book contains racial remarks and vulgarity exactly the way as it has been back then. It is not an intention to be so, yet a reflection that has been made in a sincere way.
It deals not only with the Great Depression and the tragedy that comes along when a person is lost and confused but also speaks of mental disorders that most people have failed to notice. Through the lens of grief, it reveals the topic of human loneliness and one’s being forced to make a decision that a person thinks to be a better solution. “Of Mice and Men” is the call back to the era of survival of the fittest, which is also applicable to the present times. It is a reason why it is still taught at school and used as an essay topic choice.
Candy, Crooks, and Curley represent three stages of loneliness, according to the book as Steinbeck has put it. One of them is getting old, the other one is being unable to show one’s beauty, and the last one is the loneliness of being ignored and misunderstood.
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