Theme Of Power In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

994 Words4 Pages
Markus Mayer
Implications of Power Everybody wishes to have some kind of control over their lives, whether it be over other people or over situations and circumstances that come their way. Power is one of the main themes of the story. It begins with who has it and who doesn’t. One of Steinbeck’s motifs is the pairing of characters, and through this he shows the theme of power. In other words, he is emphasizing the struggle that many people have today: control. In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, some characters that have power are George and Slim, and characters that lack power are Curley’s wife and Crooks. In one case, one of the main characters, George Milton, has a substantial amount of power over another person: Lennie. As stated in the book, “Why he’d do any damn thing I tol’ him,” George had Lennie’s trust and respect, thus giving George power over Lennie (Steinbeck, 40). George gained this after all the time that he has spent with Lennie. Ever since Lennie’s Aunt Clara died, he has been with George, going from place to place looking for work on different farms. Also, because Lennie is mentally ill, he is forced to rely on George as a parent figure, making the two almost one “whole person only so long as George was tied up to Lennie.” The effectiveness of this “power-pair” is the sincerity of their friendship, and since it is greatly different from all of the other relationships on the ranch, it stands out from the rest. On the other hand, Lennie had a small effect on George’s power. As Bloom’s Notes explains, “Lennie, as an id-figure, had actually exercised a restraining, inhibiting effect on George: the effect of the super-ego, the restrictions of society. But with Lennie dead, George was apparently about to become an id-figure himself, giving free rein to his “lower” desires and impulses.” So, in a way, this was a way of George gaining more power
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