Text Analysis 'of Mice and Men'

1400 Words Aug 21st, 2008 6 Pages
In the excerpts George and Lennie are two friends, one smart the other intellectually disabled, both on a ‘mission’ to achieve the American dream. Their journey reveals a lot about the two. Lennie is a follower, in that he follows and imitates George’s every move. Lennie also suffers from a mental disability. It is also understood that they are from a working class upbringing.
In the case of Lennie, it becomes very clear throughout the novel that he is a ‘follower’. He follows George everywhere he goes, even going to the extent of imitating George, “Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly”, (11-17). This clearly and blatantly shows and supports the ‘follower’ notion, while at the same time showing Lennie’s insecurity.
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The mere fact, that the very character that plays the largest part in Lennie’s death and the ultimate demise of the American Dream for the two main characters, does not have a name goes to show the sexism of society at the time, thus promoting a patriarchal context. Finally it is seen through Curley’s actions towards his wife. “You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad” (92-97) shows the domination of the male figure. That Curley is able to control his wife in such a manner strongly re-enforces the patriarchal view.
Language plays a large factor in revealing the age of the context in which the novel is set. The language used in the dialogue plays the biggest part in this. The only swear words mentioned are ‘Bitch’ and ‘Bastard’, and while these words are still offensive in the novel’s context, they are the only words used, dictating a much older context. If the text were a modern one the characters would posses a much larger arsenal of swear words thus, the context is an older one. Other dialogue features that point towards an older society are the use of grammar, but more importantly the phrases and words used. Words such as “Tramp” and “Jail-Bait” are not terms used today (instead replaced by “Slut” and “A ticket to the can” respectively) the former showing an older setting.
The racism shown towards Crooks also displays the age of the context of the novel. When Crooks says “I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse… ‘Cause I’m black”
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