The Little Man Jerked

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Updated: Nov 05, 2019
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The Little Man Jerked essay

The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over at Lennie. So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard!’ I forgot,’ Lennie said softly. I tried not to forget. Honest to God I did, George(Steinbeck 4).’ We all empathise with Lennie at some point in our lives, we do things we think are right, but to someone else and in reality they are the wrong things. Of Mice and Men is a powerful novel that focuses on the California laboring class. It takes place during the Great Depression in the late 1930s.

John Steinbeck, the author, was born in Salinas, California. In the novel, the main characters, Lennie and George are looking for work in order to make their dream of having their own land and a house come true. When they arrive at work, they go through hardships along the way, still working to make money so they can make their dreams come true. While they are working, George directs and leads Lennie because he is mentally handicapped and George thinks he is going to make a mistake that could ruin their dream. The value of reading the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, is the deeper critical thinking; specifically the character connections that develop themes throughout the novel, each character is a representation of a type of person in society that we can relate to. Characters in Steinbeck’s novel represent people in modern day society that they can relate to and understand, making readers use deeper critical thinking while they read the novel. It makes the reader put pieces of the text together to create greater overall meaning of the text. One thing Steinbeck does to make the readers use deeper critical thinking is through character connections. He ties a specific element and representation of people in society to the characters.

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For example, Lennie, he symbolizes mistreated and discriminated people because he is mentally handicapped. George, Lennie’s best friend, represents someone in society that is realistic, proactive, and a leader. Together, both of them have a dream of owning their own farm, and the farm symbolizes hope and possibility for freedom. The symbolic meaning of each character makes readers use deeper critical thinking which is a value to reading the book (Character List. SparkNotes). In the Book Moral Experience in Of Mice and Men’ : Challenges and Reflection it states …Of Mice and Men would seem to be of little relevance to serious reflection on morality (Hart, Richard E. 1). It also states, I distinguish here between moral philosophy (as traditionally understood) and moral experience. By experience I mean simply undergoing the moral drama and tension and conflict that the characters in the story witness and reflection sensitively on that experience (theirs and ours) (Hart, Richard E. 2).

Morality is a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society. It is conveyed throughout the novel using the characters to show the values of the different types of people in society. Within the novel, John Steinbeck develops themes that a typical American would relate to and understand. One main theme is, it is human nature to want what you can’t have. Throughout the novel George and Lennie have an aspiration of owning their own piece of land and a farm that Lennie can tend to. They have many obstacles thrown in their way while trying to achieve their dream. By the end of the novel they do not accomplish their goal. In the novel it states, Lennie broke in. But not us! An’ why? Because . . . . because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why. He laughed delightedly.

Go on now, George! You got it by heart. You can do it yourself. No, you. I forget some a’ the things. Tell about how it’s gonna be. O.K. Someday??”we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs andAn’ live off the fatta the lan’, Lennie shouted. An’ have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we’re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. Tell about that, George.

Why’n’t you do it yourself? You know all of it. No . . . . you tell it. It ain’t the same if I tell it. Go on . . . . George. How I get to tend the rabbits. Well, said George, we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof(Steinbeck 8). This is their dream. Constantly throughout the story George and Lennie will repeat their dream, yet they never accomplish is. Overall, this is comparable to the undefined American Dream. John Steinbeck uses the character connections to create a theme that people in society can relate to and comprehend. Lennie and George’s dream and their characteristics relate to people in American society. They create themes that a person should understand and be compatible with. How Steinbeck portrays each character, brings a huge impact to the novel and with the themes he uses.

It drives the momentum of the novel (Lineberger, 2018). Throughout the novel themes are developing and characters are becoming more realistic and personal to each individual. Deeper critical thinking is a value to reading the book Of Mice and Men. With the characters connections having deeper meaning to the reader, such as Lennie and George representing people in modern day society. Allowing the theme to be tied into an everyday drive that most everyone can relate to, like wanting things you can’t have. So in the end, there is a value to reading the novel.

Works cited:

Character List. SparkNotes, SparkNotes, Hart, Richard E. Moral Experience in Of Mice and Men’: Challenges and Reflection. The Steinbeck Review, vol. 1, no. 2, 2004, pp. 31??“44. JSTOR, JSTOR, Lineberger, J. (2018). Analyzing Theme Development in a Text: Characters, Setting & Plot – Video & Lesson Transcript | [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2018]. Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Themes. SparkNotes, SparkNotes,

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The Little Man Jerked. (2019, Nov 05). Retrieved from