1. The book “Of the Mice and Men” has a grim lesson on the nature and characteristics of human existence. All the character in the story such as George, Candy, Curley’s wife, Crooks and Lennie admitted to having profound some sense of themes related to human existence (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
Themes that resonate with human rights, social and economic justice, and the strength perspective in the book Of Mice and Men by the author John Steinbeck are discussed fully as bellow.
Theme of powerless is evident in the story. The story suggests that oppression comes from different background, but not form powerful or strong hands only. Crook is depicted the strongest when he reduced his friend Lennie to tears. He feared that George might have encountered something bad. Curley’s wife feels powerful whenever she threatened to have her friend Crooks lynched. The novel suggests that every visible strength that is employed to oppress other individuals is itself termed as the born of weakness (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
Theme of loneliness is well depicted in the story. The character in the story such as George, Candy, Curley’s wife, Crooks and Lennie admitted to having profound some sense isolation and loneliness. The characters desired the comfort of their friends but will eventually settle for several years of a stranger. For instance, Curley’s wife told Candy, Lennie and Crooks that was not happily married. Moreover, Crooks commented that life could not be good without a person having a companion to help hi/her during the times of need and confusion. The characters in the story are rendered to be helpless due to their isolation. However, the isolation, they sought to destroy other people who were even weaker than them. A good example was the time Crook criticized the dream Lennie had about this dependence on George and farm. The story suggests the predatory nature of existence of a human being. Steinbeck recorded the profound human truth when wrote how Crook criticized Lennie and accepted his own vulnerabilities. He admitted that he was black besides having crooked back and long for companionship (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
Strength and weakness are the other themes covered in the novel. The author explores these themes throughout the novel. The first strength in the novel is physical strength. At the opening of the story, Lennie is depicted to have physical strength that was beyond his control. He could not help killing any mice he came around. Another physical strength is money that was quite valuable material to characters such as Lennie and George. Curley used his strength to intimidate his wife and men (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
Loneliness and companionship are fully explored in the novel. Most characters suffer from loneliness. For, George admitted at the beginning of the story that life of a ranch was the loneliness life. George had no chance to look for someone for protection and companionship because he moved from a farm to farm. Crook, Curley’s wife and Candy admitted their lonely life. The hope of companionship for George died with Lennie at the end of the novel. It was that he would go through his life alone (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
Corrupting power of women is another theme in the story. Portrayal of women in the novel is unflattering and limited. George and Lennie worked in a ranch where they encountered problems with women. Lennie was accused of raping woman for touching her dress. It was a misunderstanding because Lennie loved soft things. Lennie was berated for his behavior by George who admitted that women were the cause of trouble. He believed that the enticing sexuality of women tempts men to engage in what they would otherwise not (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
2. One resourceful relationship that was helpful in the novel was that between George and Curley’s wife. Whereas one woman in the flophouse could make a female companion to him, he had no desire for her. The resourceful relationship is seen when Curley’s wife, the only woman who supported George in view of marriage (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
3. There is the idea of impossibility of dreams as depicted in Curley’s wife. She confessed her desire of becoming a movie maker before her death. Moreover, she had resigned to an unfulfilling marriage. Lennie and George dreamt that they owned a farm to enable them sustain their lives. They thought that by owning a farm, they would have protection from the world that was inhospitable. Their dream faded when bitter Crook came in the scene. Another idea that supports the strong sense of power is lack of inconsistency. Lennie at first appeared the strongest, but at the end of the novel, he was powerless. It means that Lennie could not retain the character he had at the start of the novel. The final idea is the use of corrupting power of women to oppress men. Lennie was a victim of circumstance when the woman accused him of raping her just by touching her dress (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
4. Lennie is a character in the novel who kept finding himself in the problems. For instance, Lennie was accused of rape by a woman for touching her dress. It was a misunderstanding because Lennie loved soft things. Lennie was berated for his behavior by George who admitted that women were the cause of trouble. The strengths noticed in Lennie are weak. The approach to working with Lennie to support him finds a lady of his dream to love. Lennie had the ability to express his love for a woman. He could have talked to her directly instead of touching her dress. The trust can be built by frequent communication. Good and honest communication builds trust. The long term relationship should be valued more than short term success to build trust. Moreover, by being honest the trust can be developed easily. Show cared for Lennie and shared interested to enable him have trust. Furthermore, admit to mistakes and faults (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
5. The act of resistance that challenges norms while promoting a sense of justice in the society is depicted in Curley. He had the authority on the champion boxer and the ranch. He used his violent temper and brutish strength to intimidate his wife and men. His defeat to George and Lennie showed that the physical strength alone cannot be used to oppress people. His wife felt powerful, she threatened Crooks to have him lynched. It supports the evident in the novel that weakness is a strength that is visible (Steinbeck & Sinise, 2011).
6. An initial personal reaction goes to Lennie. At the start of the story, he appeared to be most powerful character. The reader expected the character to retain his strength up to the end of the novel. However, at the end of the novel, physical size and strength of Lennie proved powerless. Curley defeated him. Physical strength is the predatory and rigid human tendencies as seen in Lennie.
Steinbeck, J., & Sinise, G. (2011). Of mice and men. Minneapolis: Penguin-High Bridge.