Literary Exploration In life we are part of many roles that create dangers we face that may lie beyond our understanding. Even though these roles are hard to understand, they can give meaning to our life. In John’s Steinbeck “Of Mice and Men,” we see these men’s day to day lives, the main character; George takes care of his friend Lennie who has difficulties understanding the rules of the world we live in. Through the story there are many ups and downs mostly involving Lennie, who is trying to see through the eyes of George and to do and be as George is.
For this reason George is constantly trying to think of what is best for Lennie. Through all of this they face even more dangers and still try to find a way to raise money for a farm to call their own. George and Lennie show how the dangers we face can affect our lives for the better while everything fails around them. Danger is important in our lives, because it gives us the drive to go through day to day lives. Often when struggling with dangers we find hope and we look to the outside world for assurance and escape from our worries or pain.
George and Lennie find dangers from the very start of the novel because of they are forced to run from one of many problems Lennie causes. In the novel Steinbeck gives Lennie a purpose of taking care of the “rabbits” and in doing this it shows Lennie that to him his purpose in life is to take care of the “Rabbits. ” In the novel a quote that show that the dangers they ran from at the very beginning are far behind them, “Guys like us, that work on ranches ,are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no families. They don’t belong no place…
We’re gonna have a little house an’ a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and live off the fatta the land… We’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens…” this quote shows how George and Lennie strive to have a better life. Even though George knows that these dreams will never come true, “let’s have different color rabbits, George… Red and blue and green rabbits… sure fluffy ones. ” As you begin to read on in the novel, it almost seems as if, their hopes and dreams are starting to come true. “you know a place like that? ”…’Maybe we could do her right now? …”In one month. ”… But then Lennie unknowingly is killing everything he touches and the dangers they ran from are coming back just as before , “Why he’s dead. ” She cried “I was just playing with him… and he was gonna make like he was gonna bite me…an’ I made like I was gonna smack him… an’…an’ I done it. An’ then he was dead. ” And because of this and Curly’s wife George is faced with a big decision. George must learn that Lennie is dangerous to others that are around him because he does not know his own strength, and that him and Lennie cannot keep running forever.
However, hope can be taken as well, which is shown in the novel by a stable buck named Crooks. “A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that. Sometimes he gets thinkin’, an’ he got nothing to tell him what’s so an’ what ain’t so. Maybe if he sees somethin’, he don’t know whether it’s right or not. He can’t turn to some other guy and ask him if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. I seen things out here. I wasn’t drunk. I don’t know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an’ then it would be all right.
But I jus’ don’t know. ” Crooks speaks these words to Lennie, on the night that Lennie visits Crooks in his room. The old stable-hand admits to the very loneliness that George described in the novel. As a black man with a physical handicap, Crooks is forced to live in the barn whitch is on the ranch life. He is not even allowed to enter the white men’s bunkhouse, or join them in a game of cards. His bitterness usually comes out through his bitter, caustic wit, but in this passage he displays a sad, touching side. Crooks’s desire for a friend by whom to “measure” something.
Because these men feel such loneliness, it is not surprising that the promise of a farm of their own and a life filled with strong, brotherly bonds. “I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads . . . every damn one of ’em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ’em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. In this passage , after Lennie shares with Crooks his plan to buy a farm with George and raise rabbits, Crooks tries to deflate Lennie’s hopes which creates dangers that may lie beyond our understanding. He relates that “hundreds” of men have passed through the ranch, all of them with dreams like Lennie’s. Not one of them, he emphasizes with bitterness, ever succeeds to make that dream come true. Crooks shows a sense of reality, telling again of Lennie’s childlikeness , and that the dream of a farm is, after all, only a dream.
This moment show’s off Crook’s character, and how a lifetime of loneliness and cruelty can lead to bitterness. It also furthers Steinbeck’s disturbing thought’s that those who have strength and power in the world are not the only ones responsible for cruelty. As Crooks shows, even though he was hurt by others, he seeked out Lennie and attacked him because he is even weaker than Crooks is. Sometimes in life we have difficulty in decisions that makes us question our morals even deeper our character. Curley’s wife enters the barn and try’s to console Lennie. What you got covered up there? ” She admits that the life with Curley is a disappointment, and wishes that she had followed her dream of becoming a movie star “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes-all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me”. Lennie tells her that he loves petting soft things, and she offers to let him feel her hair. When he grabs too tightly, she cries out. Lennie becomes sacred and tried to silence her, he unknowingly breaks her neck.
Lennie flees back to a pool of the Salinas River that George has told Lennie of the meeting place that should either of them get into trouble they are to meet. As Candy discover what has happened and gather together a lynch party, George joins Lennie. Much to Lennie’s surprise, George is not mad at him for doing “a bad thing. ” George begins to tell Lennie the story of the farm they will have together. As he describes the rabbits that Lennie will tend, the sound of the approaching men grows louder. George shoots Lennie in the back of the head.
When the other men arrive, George lets them believe that Lennie had the gun, and George wrestled it away from him and shot him. Only Slim understands what has really happened, that George has killed his friend out of mercy “Goerge raised the gun and listened to the voices”… “le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now. ” Slim consolingly leads him away, and the other men, completely puzzled, watch them leave. Lennie is an illustration of how, as we go through life, every human’s personality will be given its test however, it is up to the person to either grow from the knowledge or be crushed as a result.
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