To What Extent Is "Of Mice and Men" More Effective Than Rainman in Giving Us Understandings of Loneliness and Friendship?
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Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" cannot accurately be compared in effectiveness of its themes with the movie Rainman. The importance of each theme differs in both- in Steinbeck's novel, loneliness is the most dominant theme, and in Rainman the major theme is friendship. Levinson and Steinbeck both do a brilliant job at showing the major themes in both materials to the greatest of their potential, and the minor themes are somewhat overpowered because of this.
One extremely clever way that Steinbeck has more effectively conveyed the theme of loneliness to the reader is by never letting the characters develop or change in "Of Mice and Men". Very early in the novel we are introduced to George and Lennie as they are about to start new…show more content… This heightens the feeling of loneliness much more than Rainman does, because in Levinson's movie the minor characters also grow and show some development as the plot continues. The minor character Susanna, from Rainman, shows major changes in her mindset towards Ray by the end of the movie. Looking back in the film to when she is initially introduced to Ray, she extended her kindness towards him only as a means of keeping the peace between the two brothers, rather then through a genuine wish to make him feel welcome. As the story evolves, Susanna's friendship towards Ray becomes something of her own free will rather then a forced gesture. This shows a strong development in Susanna's mindset towards Ray, and because of this it does not effectively convey the theme of loneliness as powerfully as Steinbeck has in his novel.
Another way Steinbeck effectively conveys the feeling of loneliness throughout his novel is by having only slight changes in the setting of the story The very beginning and the very end take place in the brush- the place George told Lennie to go if he did anything wrong. However, the rest of the book is set at the ranch, where Lennie and George work picking barley. This limited setting change gives Steinbeck a solid foundation, from which he can build upon to effectively portray