Books and Movies Reviews

Of Mice and Men : The Ranch as a Microcosm

Many times the work of an author will reflect his or her observations of and ideas on how events in the world appear to be. From the way the author approaches the subject matter in his works, connections between the text and how similar events occur in the real world can sometimes be made. The author's stance towards these real-world events can then be discerned from how they are portrayed in the storyline of the work. John Steinbeck, a true realist, gives the reader a taste of how life was during the time period portrayed in his novels and his mood toward the subject matter reflects how he regards the events of the years surrounding the Great Depression. In one of his great novels, Of Mice and Men, set in this time period, the ranch plays a major role in how Steinbeck realistically portrays the Great Depression era in our history. In effect, the ranch and the people on it can be thought of as a microcosm of American society because it reflects the loneliness, the prejudice, and the different aspects of society of the time.
a. "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and thefirst thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothin to look ahead to."
Loneliness is a part of life on the ranch, and although it may not show so much on the outside of the characters, it bothers them all to some degree. Nobody likes it, but all have learned how to live with it.
b. The loneliness on the ranch contrasts Lennie and George's close relationship by showing how truly important it is.
"S'pose I went in with you guys. Tha's three hundred an' fifty bucks I'd put in. I ain't much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How'd that be…

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