How Does Steinbeck Essay

627 WordsMar 31, 20133 Pages
“How does Steinbeck us the friendship between George and Lennie to display wider aspects of 1930’s American society?” Firstly let us consider how Lennie and George are forced to move around from place to place in search of work. This is representative of the economic problems that the U.S was faced with in the early 1930’s, with few jobs available for those lower down the pecking order as a result of the great depression. It also shows us how stable jobs we’re very uncommon as a result of this. Furthermore, the fact that George and Lennie were chased out of their previous town upon suspicions of rape by Lennie, which we can deduce was not his aim, suggests that American society was quick to pass judgement, and people were perhaps not sympathetic to a disabled man who clearly could not think things through properly. In turn this may display a certain aggression and lawlessness that was present in 1930’s American society. Another way in which Steinbeck uses the friendship between George and Lennie to convey wider aspects of American society is through their dream to own their own ranch. This links to the concept of the “American Dream”, whereby anyone can achieve what they want given they work hard enough for it. In the book, the reader is the sense that the idea of this “dream” that George and Lennie share allows them to escape from the “real world” and this excites them. For example, Lennie “laughs delightedly” after George talks him through what exactly their dream consists of. The word “laughs” conveys excitedness and “delightedly” conveys happiness. The suggestion here is that these dreams are powerful, as they can stir up powerful emotions; however are ultimately futile given the state that the U.S was in, in the 1930’s. This is realised at the end of the book, when George is forced into shooting Lennie, which ends their chances of owning a ranch together.
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