William Blake

William Blake

  • Submitted By: piggys23
  • Date Submitted: 08/24/2009 9:59 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1405
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 373

In what ways does ‘Of Mice and Men’ show how individuals can be hampered by the society in which they live?

The novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ written by John Steinbeck and published in 1937, is set in Salinas, north California. The story is based in 1930s America just after the Wall Street Crash. It was a time of economic depression and many men became migrant workers as they moved west in search of work. Steinbeck’s novella depicts life on a ranch in the 1930s, which becomes a microcosm of society of the time. The story gives an idea of how individuals were hampered by the society in which they live through the prejudices that existed at that time and the pre-deposing factors that each character has.

The novella focuses on the story of two migrant workers, George and Lennie. George is the shorter of the two men but is very much in control. There relationship is like a parent and child because lennie has a mental disability which means he is not able to look after himself. George gets frustrated with the responsibility of looking after Lennie and tells him, ‘God Almighty, if I was alone I could live life so easy’ (Page 28). Although later on he admits to slim ‘It’s a lot nicer to go around with a guy you know.’ George is lonely and he dreams of having his own home. ‘An ‘it’d be our own, an’ nobody could can us…An’ if a fren’ come along, why we’d have an extra bunk, an’ we’d say, “why don’t u spen’ the night?”(pg 86) ’ However he is hampered by society because he is a migrant worker and cannot follow his dreams. He will never get his dream because he does not earn enough to buy a place and settle down. The economic situation at the time meant that there was very little work and George has to keep travelling in order to make enough money to live. This hampers him because it makes it difficult for him to form friendships and eventually have a home and family of his own. Society does not seem to care about his situation. He has no future and no pension...

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