How Does John Steinbeck Present the Theme of Violence in Of Mice and Men?

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How does Steinbeck present the theme of violence in ‘Of Mice and Men’?
John Steinbeck’s short novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ presents the desolate nature of 1930s America, in particular Soledad, close to where Steinbeck himself grew up and worked during this time. Notably, Steinbeck focuses on the life of migrant workers who were forced to travel from ranch to ranch in search of work as a result of the simultaneous occurring disasters ‘The Great Depression’ and ‘The Dustbowl’. Due to the economic crisis, the percentage of unemployment rose and money became increasingly tight so violence became a cheap form of entertainment for the men of America, the mentality becoming very much ‘every man for himself’ which created a hostile environment,
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Another poignant character for the theme of violence is Carlson who perhaps epitomises the violent men of 1930s America. He appears unconcerned about shooting Candy’s dog and even callously cleans his gun in front of Candy before shooting the dog for him, ‘I’ll shoot him for you’ this gives the impression that Carlson is a sadist who takes pleasure in violence perhaps as a result of the monotonous life where entertainment was scarce . When he hears that Curley is looking for Slim he immediately jumps in ‘I’d like to see the fun if it kicks off’ giving the impression he is keen to join the violence. Furthermore, at the end of the novel he is excited by the thought of chasing Lennie down to kill him ‘I’ll get my Luger’ demonstrating how he sees killing as a game and does not care much for the consequences.
During the novel we see two main types of violence, needless, intentional violence and unintentional violence. Whereas both Curley and Carlson contribute largely to intentional violence, Lennie possesses no self-control and undoubtedly is unintentional in any acts of violence. Throughout the climactic scene in the bunkhouse, Lennie does not even think to defend himself against Curley’s persistent attacks, ‘make ‘em stop George’ this suggests that although Lennie is the biggest and strongest of all the men on the ranch, he is mentally weak and perhaps is not at all a violent person, despite his appearance. It’s only when George

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