Key Issues In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck wrote ‘Of Mice and Men’ in 1937, during America’s Great Depression (1929-1939). The novel touches a number of important issues affecting the country during the period, many of which remain relevant in today’s society. Steinbeck uses the central story of George and Lennie, two itinerant workers to explore key issues including: The Great Depression; racism and the American Dream. The book represents the lives of thousands of itinerant workers and their belief that no matter how little they had, the ‘American Dream’ was within reach to anyone. These key issues are developed through different characters the pair encounters, including the African American character of Crooks, who represents the lives of violence and segregation that…show more content…
By presenting Crooks as a lonely man who sufferers from segregation and discrimination the reader is able to have an example of these themes, meaning that the message Steinbeck is trying to convey is clear. Relating to this is the fact that Steinbeck’s realistic and understated narrative style, in the way that through-out Crooks’ and Lennie’s conversation they are simply sitting in a bunk and talking, telling the reader that you do not need high drama to be moving because the lives of ordinary people are tragic enough. Steinbeck conveys these key points during Crooks’ conversation with Lennie, in which he is at first hostile towards Lennie, but as the conversation progresses, he becomes more open about how he feels. The way in which Crooks pushes Lennie out is unexpected because Crooks is often perceived as lonely and wants companionship. When Lennie first enters Crooks’ room, Crooks is deeply hostile to him, “he stiffened and a scowl came on his face”. Steinbeck writes Crooks with this reaction because he is relating his reaction to the bigger theme of the book: The Dream. Although one of the aims of the dream is company, Crooks has given up on the dream meaning that he has given up on the dream, meaning that he has given up on companionship. The reason for this is because Crooks has suffered from segregation the whole time has been However Steinbeck presents Crooks in a way that he knows that his personal space is one of those rights to have and so does not allow Lennie to me in. Also, it eventually become obvious that Crooks is seeing that he has the opportunity to be cruel to Lennie, as he realises Lennie is simple and not like the white men because “A guy can talk to you an’ he be sure you won’t go blabbin’”. This is because Crooks has always been treated poorly by the other men, and so he steels the opportunity
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