Monday, July 22, 2019
The characters in Of Mice and Men Essay Example for Free
The characters in Of Mice and Men Essay Many of the characters in Of Mice and Men have dreams. What are their dreams and how near are any of them to achieving what they want? Many characters have dreams and aspirations in the story Of Mice and Men and try to achieve them in different ways. Many characters have dreams and I will be discussing the dreams of: Candy, Crooks, Curley and his wife. Candy, Crooks and Curley wife all have similar dreams, which is to have freedom and equality. All three characters are treated with very little respect and are seen as lower class due to race, gender, age or disability. Dreams are very important to the characters as they help them to escape from reality even if only for a short while. Their dreams are also significant as they are hope that things will get better and are vital to keep spirits high. However, many peoples dreams were affected by the economic downfall that America experienced. The story is set in the 1930s, which was when America experienced the Wall Street crash. This was when the stock market collapsed and many Americans lost thousands of dollars they had invested. This caused mass homelessness and led to the great depression. During this era there was lots of prejudice and discrimination against black people, women, the elderly and the disabled. This affected them the worst as any time when life was getting tough they were hit much worse and were the first to experience suffering. This tough lifestyle encouraged people to dream as many people believed in the American Dream which was that everyone deserved a piece of prosperity if they worked hard enough. So a dream helped people to get by as it encouraged people to work hard and remain optimistic that they can succeed and it also helped people by temporarily escaping from reality. One character in the story called Candy had a dream but it was crushed when he busted his hand and he gave up. Candy is the first person George and Lennie meet on the ranch and he was the swamper. Later on in the novel Candy overhears George and Lennie speaking of their dream and he becomes involved as when he busted his hand he received compensation and offers his money and says he would cook for them. For example Candy says: I aint much good, but I can cook and tend the chickens. This dream is very important for Candy as he is getting old and needs to retire soon so he becomes very enthusiastic and optimistic about the dream and starts to realise that he may be able to retire and live happily. This is shown when Candy interrupts George and the way that he is being inquisitive. Candy then talks of the dream to Crooks even though George said not to talk about it to anyone else. When Candys dog dies there is a sense of dramatic irony as it is almost foreseeing a bad event is about to occur. Later Candy goes into the barn to check on Lennie but instead discovers a shocking sight, Curleys wife laying dead in the middle of the barn and he sense it is the end of the dream for example he says: Oh Jesus Christ! this shows his show and despair as he knows its only the beginning of bad events. However, Candy doesnt want to let the dream go and shows he wants to carry on dreaming as he says: You and me can get that little place, cant we George? Candy feels very strongly about the dream as he starts yelling at Curleys dead wife that she ruined their dream. This is shown when he says: You God dam tramp and You done it didnt you. Although Candy does get quite close to his dream with George and Lennie I do not think he will achieve his dream as his hope has now gone as he faces reality that he can not work on his own and make his dream come true. Candys hope did inspire Crooks to dream and at one stage Crooks was thinking about joining their dream. Candy thinks that Crooks is a nice fella for a black man and that although he is black they get on well. Candy also says The boss gives him hell when he mad. This shows that if the boss is angry he will take it out on Crooks due to his minority ethnicity in the 1930s. Crooks has lots of possessions including law books. This is shown in the following quote: And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civic code for 1905. This shows us that he has an interest in law and his own rights. This gives us the impression that Crooks dreams of freedom as he keeps a law book on him so he knows what rights he does have even though there are very few. Crooks had a daydream about the past when he did not know of racism as a child and played with the white children unaware of the discrimination he was later to face. People treat Crooks with no respect yet he does not react but he doesnt have a choice as he is outnumbered and treated unfairly. Crooks does not mind Lennie and Candy visiting his room as they are similar to him as they are both treated with less respect due to mental or physical disabilities. When Crooks first hears about the dream he laughs at Lennie and says he is crazy. This is shown by the following quote: Youre as crazy as a wedge. What rabbits you talking about? This simile shows how crazy Crooks thinks Lennie is. . However, after Candy explains it all to him Crooks gets involved with it and says If you guys wanted a hand to work for nothing just for his keep, Id come and lend a hand. Then Curleys wife comes along and ruins the dream for Crooks by insulting the three of them. For example she calls them: A Nigger an a dum-dum and a lousy ol sheep Curleys wife then goes on to belittle Crooks even more by saying: Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it aint even funny. This make Crooks go silent and he no longer wants to be in the dream. For example: Crooks seemed to grow smaller. This shows that Crooks has now been silenced and has to accept that he has no say once again. Crooks is nowhere near close to achieving his dream of freedom and equality, as there will be racism and intolerance for a long while. Crooks hope was shot down when Curleys wife came in and ruined his dream. Curleys wife is described as very purty but jail bait. This is because she is very pretty but she is very promiscuous so Curley gets suspicious when she talks to another guy and he would start a fight if he caught her. Lennie thinks that she is very attractive and this worries George as he has a history of going for attractive girls as he held a womans dress previously and caused trouble. I think Curleys wife is exactly how the men think of her, that she is a tart. This is because she goes around giving other men the eye and is always flirting with other men. However, she is only like this because Curley gives her very little attention and treats her with no respect so if she had a good husband she would act appropriately. Life is very tough for her on the ranch because all she wants is some love and attention what Curley does not give her and the other men do not either, as they are afraid of Curley. I think she turned nasty in Crooks room because they were reluctant to talk to her and she just flipped out of frustration. Curleys wife dreams of being in the movies and being a famous actor as she met a man who said she could be a star and ever since then she hoped for the best. This is shown when she says: An a guy told me he could of put me in pitchers. Curleys wife needed to have dreams as they kept her going and made her fell as though her life would one day get better and she could be a movie star. When Curleys wife was found dead it ruined everyones dream. George and Lennie could no longer get their own place as Lennie was about to be hunted down and Crooks and Candy could no longer get out of the ranch and live with them as the dream was fuelled entirely on Lennies enthusiasm. Curley was a terrible husband to his wife as he paid no attention to her whatsoever and maybe she was better off dead than living with him. For example Curleys Wife says: swell guy, aint he? this shows that she is being sarcastic and really telling them hes a bad husband. So far most of the character we met, apart from the boss and slim, have dreams; however, it is unlikely that anyone will fulfill these dreams as one small event could end on big dream. Contrasting dreams are important to different people and when the novel was set dreams were more significant due to the corrupt way of society back then. So dreams were hope, inspiration and optimism to those who were disliked by society and were at a disadvantage. The title of the novel Of Mice and Men was derived from the poem To A Mouse. John Steinbeck may have chosen this, as the meaning of to a mouse is that no plan is foolproof, which is what happens in the story as the dream was not definitely going to happen and it did not. He may have also done this as in To A Mouse Robert Burns says: The best laid schemes o mice an men Gang aft agley. This translates as the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray. This is an overview of Of Mice and Men as the dream was well planned but it went wrong. No Matter how much you plan and how near you get nothing is set in stone.