Of Mice and Men Literary Criticism Essay

Words: 1943
Pages: 8

At the mention of the name, "John Steinbeck," many associations can be made to the classic works produced by the man. However, he did not begin his life as a successful writer. Growing up in Salinas, California, Steinbeck lived the life of a common man, working to survive in the Land of Promise. He began to develop a taste for writing; however, he studied marine biology while he attended Stanford University. Without graduating with a degree, Steinbeck began working as a laborer and reporter for the American in New York City. After realizing that he was not meeting his goals, or at least coming close to them, Steinbeck moved back to California where he continued to work in various odd jobs while he pursuing his career as a professional …show more content…
Steinbeck illustrates this on page 79 when he writes, "[Curley's wife] looked longest at Lennie, until he dropped his eyes in embarrassment." Curley's wife was bored of her own lonely life and she was interested in Lennie. Steinbeck uses Curley as the reason for Lennie's and George's tragic ending. While Lennie is killed for a mistake made thanks to Curley's wife, George is faced with the responsibility, once again, to resolve the problem no matter how difficult his decision might be.
Steinbeck is smart in that he symbolically has most of the characters crippled in some way.
Steinbeck spends a lot of time establishing a strong connection between the two main characters, but there are subtle hints that tie back into the theme of men ending up alone, as it is there fate. While Lennie is positive that George is his friend, there are doubts that George can say the same of Lennie. While George is talking to Slim, he admits that he had just become used to taking care of Lennie and that he "can't get rid of him" (41). This leads the reader to believe that George is motivates by feelings of guilt, responsibility, pity, or maybe even a desire to not be alone himself. Chances are it is a combination of all of these motivations. However, it seems weird that George would continue to stay with Lennie, considering the danger that Lennie causes for the both of them. George knows and