Of Mice and Men Analysis
After the aftermath of the First World War, recession-hit America leading to the crushing of stock, banks going out of control, and farmers all over the West grappled with bankruptcy. It is because of this reason that they decided to seek safe haven in the West, the region known as California. There lived a journalist who noticed these tragic events and took it straight to his heart and wrote a tragic novel about Of Mice and Men. In my view, Steinbeck is an experienced journalist who has succeeded in all the points of view to his intended readers. And perhaps a fascinating stylistic device he has managed to capture lucidly is the theme. The simplicity of Steinbeck’s presenting various themes adds new effects to the entire novel. This review, therefore, intends to explicitly analyze themes that Steinbeck managed to bring out in the novel and in so doing, expound on other literary styles so that Steinbeck’s strengths and weaknesses can be fairly exposed.
The theme of visions of America, in my opinion, has been well presented in the novel. If there is anything Steinbeck has succeeded in doing is to capture the feel of rural America during the depression. For instance, credits need to be given to his ability to bring out different outlooks. By saying this, the never-will-be starlet trying to make it to Hollywood is a perfect example. And as a reader, this antagonistic theme makes you think whether Steinbeck intends to show us that struggle and overcoming life obstacles has been part of American history. Of course, the America of Of Mice and Men is populated with dreamers and those who struggle. It could have been interesting if the author proved that this is just a story about making it in a tough agricultural migrant town anywhere because the intention of this theme as presented by the author is to show that it is not possible to achieve the America Dawn without Of Mice and Men struggling. If this is the case then Steinbeck has failed within the context of this theme, to show whether Of Mice and Men is a land of opportunity or futility.
A different twist of events is even more prominent in the theme of women and femininity. The development of this theme is where if am opinionated to argue differently. That is, the author succeeded in dialogue not only with characters in the text but audiences. In other words, it is through this theme that contemporary and aspiring writers will reach a consensus that Of Mice and Men succeeded in presenting obscure points of view described as objective third-person thus we can be able to read the minds of all characters. Unusual of a novel, nobody can deny that it is this approach that Of Mice and Men easily adapted as a play by the Broadway stage and as a Hollywood movie. Trying to provide a connection between the viewpoint mentioned and the reality regarding this theme is that when Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife as an aberration among women or as pretty standard as far as the guys in the novel are concerned then such tantalizing description is what I call to dialogue with the audience in a manner that they can understand the mind of characters. It is also at this point that we all agree that the author has managed to do something many have failed to; using a very short book to show literary devices that can and will still generate volumes of materials written about. Am not intending to shower the text with praises but The New York Times once wrote, “Of Mice and Men is a thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette length that you will not set down until it is finished. It is more than its literary devices, but it is that…In sure, raucous, vulgar Americanism, Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story.” However, the only weakness presented in his attempt to use this theme in dialoguing with audiences is that we fail to be told whether there are characters that have a positive attitude towards women; not even with Aunt Clara. I strongly feel that integrating this part would have helped in concretizing what Steinbeck has already managed to succeed in.
Clarity of scenery coupled with ominous yearning and possibilities are what the author has used to manage the theme of justice. Just like it happened to me, mentioning this theme will immediately make other readers ask me whether it should be considered a ‘cowboy’ concept. Of Mice and Men has this answer for us. Steinbeck made it look as though the ranch has its own sense of justice. This is because the book has not failed us in acutely tuned to the social mores of the ranch, not the larger world. But in the process of doing this, why did Steinbeck fail to explain to us whether there are higher orders? Or whether there are senses of justice dictated by legal precedent, pity, ethics, or common sense? As other writers will agree with me, if indeed justice, as presented by Steinbeck, is cowboy then in the traditional setup, such needs not to be easily served as seen by Steinbeck. If the above question proves technical to grasp then whoever has read the text will help me understand whether Lennie was justified when he crushed Curley’s hand or still whether the same law justified Slim when he threatened Curley about letting people know about what really went wrong.
Conclusively, Steinbeck has given us a book that is above all relationships and what is all about them. He has captured much in the themes that have been presented above so that we can put such pieces of art in the treasury category or the classics. In my opinion, within the context of its themes, it is a book to be savored.
John, S. (1937), Of Mice and Men: Penguin Books. Steinbeck Centennial Edition.