John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men

1253 Words Apr 16th, 2015 6 Pages
Kaylin West
Ms. Snyder & Ms. Kovacs
English 11
13 April 2015 The Struggle of the Powerless
Zukav once said, "The pain of powerlessness is excruciating. It is the most painful experience on earth, and everyone shares it." John Steinbeck captures the gist of this quote through the representation of his characters in Of Mice and Men. Powerlessness can be broken down into broad categories. Steinbeck focuses on the financial, gender, and cultural conflicts many Americans faced during the Depression Era. Migrant workers Lennie Smalls, George Milton, and Candy all experience financial hardship due to their inability to overcome their inevitable financial circumstances. Curley 's wife struggles with being unimportant, irrelevant, and weak because of her gender. Crooks, a black man, lacks power and choice because of his ethnic background. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates the theme of powerlessness in the 1930 's through the struggles of migrant workers, women, and African Americans.
In the 1930 's, migrant workers often experienced powerlessness. Migrant workers were stuck in one place, were poor, and had little to no education. In the story, migrant worker Lennie becomes helpless when trying to respond to the boss. His boss questions, "Lennie, Small! [...] What can you do?" (Steinbeck 22). Since Lennie is slower than the rest of the men mentally, he is dependent upon George. George has the first and last say in everything Lennie does. So, when Lennie is faced…

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