Of Mice and Men: The Ranch as a Microcosm
Lot of times the work of an author will show his or her observations of and ideas on how events worldwide appear to be. From the method the author approaches the subject matter in his works, connections between the text and how comparable occasions occur in the real world can in some cases be made.
The author’s stance towards these real-world events can then be discerned from how they are depicted in the story of the work. John Steinbeck, a true realist, offers the reader a taste of how life was during the time duration represented in his novels and his mood towards the topic shows how he regards the events of the years surrounding the Great Depression.
In among his terrific books, Of Mice and Guy, embeded in this time duration, the ranch plays a major role in how Steinbeck reasonably represents the Great Depression era in our history. In effect, the ranch and individuals on it can be thought of as a microcosm of American society because it shows the isolation, the prejudice, and the different elements of society of the time.
1. “Guys like us, that work on cattle ranches, are the loneliest people on the planet. They got no household. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ develop a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you understand they’re poundin’ their tail on some other cattle ranch. They ain’t got nothin to expect.”
Loneliness belongs of life on the ranch, and although it may disappoint a lot on the exterior of the characters, it troubles them all to some degree. No one likes it, however all have learned how to cope with it.
2. The solitude on the cattle ranch contrasts Lennie and George’s close relationship by showing how genuinely crucial it is.
“S’pose I went in with you people. Tha’s three hundred an’ fifty bucks I ‘d put in. I ain’t much good, but I might cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How ‘d that be?”
As you can see, Candy’s eagerness to join in on Lennie and George’s dream vision shows how desperate he is to be included with individuals. The dream not only gives him hope and purpose, it likewise gives him some sort of cameraderie with other individuals. The people most troubled by isolation in this novel– Sweet, Crooks, and Curley’s partner– all try to become connected with Lennie and George’s dream.
3. Throughout the 1930’s, loneliness pestered the masses of rural America. The prevalent hardship and the absence of a real home were contributing elements to the feeling of loneliness felt by the working class individuals impacted by the Depression. Not able to achieve anything and required to move from place, the majority of the rural population throughout this time handled isolation similar to the characters in Of Mice and Male.
Steinbeck mentions these same qualities in the characters of the unique, all of the ranch hands lead unimportant, purposeless lives and few have people who actually care for them, hence they are always lonesome.
4. In the period surrounding the Great Anxiety, Civil Rights had not yet happened a problem in American society, and so bias existed throughout the United States. When the economy bottomed out, and thirteen million individuals lost their tasks, among the first to go were blacks and the unskilled. Steinbeck was known to be sensitive to the plight of oppressed individuals, especially blacks and migrant workers.
In this novel, Steinbeck deals with the prejudice towards blacks in society by positioning it on the ranch. The senior and women were likewise discriminated against during this time.
Out of the migrant workers, those of old age were frequently not provided work since they were not able to carry out at the level of more youthful workers. Females, unable to work since of their gender, were required to wed because they were not able to find incomes by themselves.
5. “‘Cause I’m black. They play cards in there since I’m black. They state I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.”
Criminals explains here an example of the discrimination he faces from the other hands here on the ranch to Lennie. Scoundrels is pushed into isolation due to the fact that of his skin color, and because of this he is bitter. Criminals is honestly attacked and belittled by Curley’s better half later on in this same chapter because of his words to her.
Situations such as these were extremely common to blacks in the 1930’s and so Steinbeck includes it in his cattle ranch microcosm. Although Curley’s spouse throws racial comments at Crooks in this unique, she is also shown as a “social misfit” in this novel. She is never ever wanted in the bunk home, and is referred to as a “bitch” between the guys of the cattle ranch.
Being the only woman, it would appear as if she should have no put on this ranch of swampers and other working men. Steinbeck never provided her character a name in the book, which might be required to exhibit how ladies during this time were not kept in high regard in society.
6. Steinbeck also shows another side of prejudice in Of Mice and Guy that existed in Depression-era society, discrimination towards individuals of old age.
“Ever’body out doin’ som’pin. Ever’body! An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle-stiffs a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a poor ol’ sheep an’ likin’ it since they ain’t no one else.”
Sweet is consisted of in Curley’s partner’s vilification of the castaways of the ranch because of his age. Even worse than being old, Sweet is missing out on a hand. He thinks that being as useless as his old dog, he will prematurely be gotten rid of. An example of how he is discriminated against is in how when the guys go out to town at nights, he is often left with the remainder of the discriminated, Crooks, Lennie and Curley’s other half.
7. The majority of the characters in this book are never truly established or specified. Most of the characters are more important as being symbolic with a type of person of the time. Together they represent the different parts of American society as an entire, thus more exemplifying Steinbeck’s use of the ranch as a microcosm.
8. “I seen hunderds of guys come by on the roadway an’ on the cattle ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that very same damn thing in their heads. Hunderds of them. They come, an’ they gave up an’ go on; an’ every damn one of ’em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never ever a God damn one of ’em ever gets it. Similar to paradise.”
Crook’s description of individuals that come through the cattle ranch is nearly like a revelation of the people of the Anxiety, all have dreams and hopes, but unfortunetly, in the end can’t change their position in society. Individuals on the cattle ranch are not identified completely due to the fact that they represent these people.
Slim is the “leader” of the people on the ranch. He is able to recognize aspects of individuals from more than what he hears, and with what he determines he can comprehend them. It is this quality that makes him almost above the others on the ranch; he is the only individual that can keep things together on the cattle ranch, but him alone isn’t adequate to do it.
Slim represents the “good” in society, individuals who care about others and try to use their help. Carlson is nearly the complete reverse. He is severe and insensitive. He offers to put Candy’s canine down but is unable to see that by doing it he eliminates Candy’s only companion.
His line at the end of the novel ends the book on a type of cynical note: “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them 2 guys?” He is unable to realize the psychological cost to George in shooting Lennie. Carlson represents the thoughtless and unfeeling in society.
9. Sweet and Crooks are shown as the two major castaways of the novel. Sweet’s character indicates what will take place to all of the ranch hands, they will get old and helpless and have no place to go. Sweet just has $350 dollars to his name, and most of that he got due to the fact that he lost his hand. In these ways, the elderly in the 1930’s resemble Candy, helpless with no where to go.
Criminals is a vital character if Steinbeck wanted to point out racial discrimination in his microcosm. Criminals is better off than most blacks were in the depression, nevertheless, due to the fact that he has work. Nonetheless, Crooks represents the oppressed blacks in society because of the problems he deals with on the cattle ranch.
10. Curley’s character serves as the evil of society in this novel. He knows he can’t lose. He can beat anyone smaller sized than he is and being the one in charge’s child, can have fired individuals he can’t beat. Curley’s spouse can be portrayed as sadness in society, given that she is most likely the saddest character.
She had a chance at being a star, however like George’s and Lennie’s, that dream was lost. She married prematurely, and made a poor choice. As a result, she acts promiscuously and flirtatiously to please her hatred for Curley. The one in charge serves as the other end of the spectrum for all of these characters. He is above all of the other ranch hands because he supervises. He represents the people of power during the Depression.