Power in of Mice and Men

628 Words3 Pages
Power and Powerlessness Lust for power can be the driving factor of pain and suffering to many people as they assert their control with little regard for the consequences and ramifications for their actions. Such ideas are toyed with in Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men (OMaM) in which the text explores the plight of individuals who willingly suffer at the hand of unfair power dichotomies due to the all pervasive allure of the American dream as seen with the eventual collapse of Lenny and George's dream of owning a ranch. Manipulation over another human can be used for their own benefit but is used in the novella as a way to protect the manipulated person. It is immediately apparent that George takes a parental roll in his relationship with Lennie. The sentence "Give it here!" referring to the dead mouse, emphasises the commanding tone that George uses to control Lennie. George uses his power over Lennie as a way for him to make sure that Lennie doesn't get in trouble. Power of seduction is used within the novel to gain attention that would otherwise be unattainable. Curly's wife uses her sexuality and desirability to influence and exert power over others, but it causes her to face prejudice and discrimination. This can be seen in the metaphorical line "I seen 'em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her". The ranch workers have grown weary to the power of sexuality which leads to her being isolated from the rest of the workers. Slim is titled "prince of the ranch", a testament to his power over his co-workers. He uses his power to do what he thinks is right, which can be seen when Lennie crushes Curley's hand. When George frets about losing his job, Slim responds by saying to Curley " I think you got your han' caught in a machine. If you don't tell nobody, we ain't going to". Slim uses Curley's fear of ridicule to stop George and
Open Document