Of Mice and Men Essay Example

When Candy’s dog is about to get shot, the narrator says, “He rippled the edge of the deck nervously, and the little snapping noise drew the eyes of all the men in the room, so that he stopped doing it. The silence fell on the again. A minuet passed, and another minuet. Candy lay still, staring at the ceiling” (Steinbeck 49). Through Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck talks about how George and Lennie get out of Weed and trying to find a new job at the ranch. George keeps giving instructions and taking care of Lennie frequently because he doesn’t want Lennie to get in trouble. Lennie suffers mental problems that causes him to think and act differently from others in the ranch. Steinbeck uses the character George to portray that without sufficient knowledge, proper tools, and attitude for taking care of a disabled person can result in negative effects to both the person and the society. George says angrily, “I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all time. An’ that ain’t the worst. You get in trouble!” (Steinbeck 11). Steinbeck illustrates through George, who lives in a time of depression that when people do not have the proper knowledge, attitude, and tools when taking care of the disabled, the result can portray a negative image of the disabled and affect society in a damaging way.

The setting of the ranch portrays the isolation and independent life of a worker, where workers rarely take responsibility for another person. In the ranch, the bunkhouses are tightly constructed with little space for the workers to live. The narrator describes the compact bunkhouse: “Inside, the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were small, square windows, and in the fourth, a solid door with a wooden latch. Against the walls were eight bunks” (Steinbeck 17). The poorly built and painted bunkhouse shows that all the workers care about their own work more than taking time to care about another person or even the bunkhouse in general. In addition, the compactness of the bunkhouse tells the reader about how people might find it uncomfortable with each other in tight spaces and causes chaos that make them care less about each other. Continuously, the bunkhouse is dirty and unsanitary. The narrator says, “ George stepped over and threw his blankets down on the burlap sack of straw that was a mattress. He looked into his box shelf and then picked a small yellow can from it” (Steinbeck 18). The unclean environment of the bunkhouse doesn’t have the proper tool and preparation for a disabled person; but, a hospital includes proper tool and hygienic environment for stabilizing patients. In summary, Steinbeck uses the setting of the ranch and the bunkhouse to prove the concept of how the environment and compact space is not suitable for the disabled and handicapped.

Steinbeck uses the character of George to portray how the responsibility of taking care for Lennie causes numerous problems for him. George is a smart and short-tempered guy, who tends to get Lennie out of trouble constantly with his sharp-witted mind. George says disappointedly, “When I think of the swell time I could have without you, I go nuts. I never get no peace” (Steinbeck 12). George’s is frustrated about Lennie and his short-tempered behavior tells the reader about his confession that he is tired of taking care of Lennie because he doesn’t have enough knowledge of how to take care a mental person. Next, George always rages and gets irritated when there are obstacles in his way. George says angrily, “I wish I could put you in a cage with about a million mice an' let you have fun” (Steinbeck 11). George is using his unstable temper to control a person, which does not show a good trait for being responsible for the person’s consideration. In summary, Steinbeck proves that George’s short-tempered behavior has affected Lennie’s mental health, which shows that improper words and action will affect the disabled negatively.

George struggles with taking the responsibility of Lennie in the ranch. When George went to play the horseshoe game, Lennie accidentally killed Curley’s wife in the barn by stroking her hair too hard. Lennie says in frustration, “ he said, ‘I don’t want you to yell. You gonna get me in trouble jus’ like George says you will. Now don’t you do that.’ And she continued to struggle, and her eyes were wild with terror” (Steinbeck 91). George didn’t look after Lennie and that shows his lack of care for Lennie. In addition, Lennie is mentally unstable that causes him to act wrongly without knowing. Continuously, George instructs Lennie to break Curley’s arm when Curley is bullying Lennie. George says, “Get him, Lennie. Don’t let him do it” (Steinbeck 63). George is irresponsible of giving improper instructions that cause Lennie to get into a lot of trouble. In summary, Steinbeck uses George’s struggle with taking care of Lennie to prove that he doesn’t have enough knowledge or correct attitude to aid Lennie.

When Candy’s dog gets shot, Candy could not take care of the dog anymore since it bothers lots of the workers in the ranch. This situation compared to George’s struggle is similar, George could not take care of Lennie anymore because he kept causing trouble for him. Furthermore, the struggle between both situation shows a person requires sufficient knowledge to know how to treat a disabled or another person appropriately. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck uses the setting of the ranch to prove the idea of the environment and compact space is not suitable for the handicapped. Moreover, George Milton’s short-tempered behavior portrays how it affects Lennie’s mental health, which shows that unfitting words and actions will affect the disabled negatively. Lastly, the struggle between George and Lennie between the characters prove that he doesn’t have enough knowledge or correct attitude to aid Lennie. Taking responsibility of a disabled can be shown in organizations and hospitals, but if a person without any preparation like how hospitals do, the person might harm the disabled’s mindset and cause further downfall of their health issues.


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