Theme Of Adversity In The Old Man And Men

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“The best plans of Mice and of Men, / Often go awry, / And leave us nothing but grief and pain, / For the joy we expected!” (Burns, To a Mouse, 38-41). This theme of the unforgiving nature of the world and how it leaves individuals with more disappointment than good is present in much of American literature. As such, in Of Mice and Men and The Old Man and the Sea, authors John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway assert that while one’s aspirations may abruptly come to a halt, it is imperative to accept this tendency and persevere in face of adversity in order to achieve self-fulfillment.
George Milton and Lennie Smalls face many obstacles in Of Mice and Men with tolerance and rationality. When constructing a background on these characters, Steinbeck includes an occasion in which Lennie is accused of rape. This protagonist (who is assumed of mild intellectual disability) wants to feel a woman’s dress for sensory pleasure, but the woman reacts in fear of being sexually assaulted by Lennie. This causes the two to flee from the town of Weed, and take this incident as learning opportunity. “Lennie - if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an’ hide in the brush,” (Steinbeck 15). In this piece of dialogue where George is talking to Lennie, George is acknowledging the naturality of his experience with plans going off course, and he uses this as a way to secure his and Lennie’s safety by taking precautionary measures. George’s enlightened viewpoint on this situation is vital in Steinbeck’s attempts to reveal the truth about the habits of life duration.
Throughout the duration of Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck makes a significant effort in the reader’s understanding of a recurring motif: light. This motif represents hope, and one’s willingness to carry on when faced with challenges. A prime example of this pattern is present in the scene where Lennie underestimates his strength (both mental and physical), and ultimately kills Curley’s wife. “The sun streaks were high on the wall by now, and the light was growing soft in the barn,” (Steinbeck 92). This quote can assess many purposes of the motif of light. It not only mentions that light in the barn is dwindling, signifying
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