Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Of Mice and Men and Oliver Twist Essay Example for Free
Of Mice and Men and Oliver Twist Essay Of mice and men written by John Steinbeck is set in 1930 during the economic depression caused by the stock market crash of 1929. Unlike Oliver Twist, Of mice and men is set in USA, near the Salinas River, in the hot and beautiful state of California. On the other hand, Charles Dickens Oliver Twist is set in the powerful and the majestic city of London, over-ruled with darkness and murky pollution brought about by what was the industrial revolution in 1870, when the novel was set. The Industrial revolution really puts the whole evil and darkness of London into a shadow which adds to the sinister acts that unveil themselves as the novel progresses. The two main characters of of mice and men are two migrant agricultural labourers, George Milton and Lennie Smalls. George, Small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp strong features. Every part of him defined : small, strong hands, slender arms and a thin bony face. The second part of an unlikely relationship between these two friends is Lennie, who is a large man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulders. George is Lennies guardian, because of his mental immaturity he is totally reliant on Georges leadership and commanding power, over of which he follows. In my opinion, without George, Lennie would either be dead or locked up in jail, as a result of him doing stupid acts. It is ironic that Lennies surname is Small, because of his huge size, Bear like as the author describes. In the time of which of mice and men is set, there is lots of tension. Social classes, women, people who suffer from racism all suffer at the same expense during this period. Crooks is the only black man In this novel, and it is through him that we can see the position of blacks in America. Crooks, is crippled because he got kicked by a horse, he has his own little room, away from the rest of the hands. The other hands openly refer to Crooks as Nigger, this example directly amplifies the life and times of the Black Americans at this time. Women are also represented through Curleys wife. Curleys wife is one quarter of an unhappy marriage. The other three quarters of the marriage is Curley, the bosses sun, who has full power of his wife and tells her what to do constantly. Steinbeck deliberately doesnt give Curleys wife a name, this representing the insignificance and illustrates ownership over women at this time. Curleys Wife doesnt really love Curley, and didnt really marry him because of love. She married him to prove a point to her mother, who destroyed the relationship she did have with the one she did love. She admitted, that marrying him was a Way Out. Curleys wife is an ambitious, flirtatious, good looking, young women, who the ranch hands try to ignore and avoid. She is trapped in loneliness, in Curleys wrath, she is where she isnt loved, and her only alternative is to make the most out of what she has got. Aint I got a right to talk to nobody? Whatta they think I am, anyways? Youre a nice guy. I dont know why I cant talk to you I aint doin no harm to you. Previous to the murder, in the barn. There, in my opinion, is a hierarchy at the ranch, and at the bottom lies Curleys wife and Crooks, two characters treated insignificantly and are discriminated due to their social classes, a women and a black. In California, the setting for this novel, the atmosphere and the surroundings is very harsh and tough for the workers. The attitude and behaviour of the workers in the novel reflect this well. For the workers, there was no cash benefit for the workers, so If they lose their job then they have to do without and mainly starve. The law, I learned is enforced well, but strangely enough, without any force as we never see any police during the novel. California is described extremely well, it is very interestingly described too, this appeals to the reader and gives the novel a very bright and happy start. The first few pages focus on the setting and commentate on all the happenings that go on, this builds a sense of reality. Steinbeck was born and raised in California, near Salinas, so he had an advantage when attempting to describe it as he can relate to it very well. Oliver Twist is almost exactly the opposite in comparison. It is a very dark novel. London at this time set the scene for the monstrosities that happened and the events that took place. You could almost guess what was to expect when reading the first few pages of Oliver Twist, but to do the same with Of mice and men would be completely different. Of Mice and Men starts on a high, very bright and colourful, but it changes contrasts and horrible happenings crowd the last few chapters of the novel. The two main characters in Oliver Twist are Oliver and Fagin. Oliver is a young orphan, brought into the then cruel world by an unknown mother. Fagin, is an Un-human man, whose features are aged and ugly. He is a ring leader of a gang of thieves that rob the city of London of valuable possessions, such as money, watches and gold. The Artful Dodger is Fagins keen apprentice, willing to learn, who knows all the tricks of the trade, a master of theft and scams. Bill Sikes, Fagins second man, is a ruthless cut throat man, whose large size and aggressive attributes add to the murder later on in the novel. The two murderers, Lennie and Sikes have many similarities. Firstly Sikes and Lennie are two large and intimidating men, whos leader is considerably smaller than them. Secondly, they both receive orders and are followers to their two leaders. Although Sikes doesnt receive commands off Fagin to an extent where he cannot survive without him, like Lennie, one part of the story he does. This is the main event that leads up to the murder of Nancy. In the early hours of the morning, when all the human and civilised world is asleep, London is awake. Fagin is awake in his chair. Waiting. Sikes enters with the loot that he has stolen from peoples houses. Fagin starts to talk about Nancy, Sikes girlfriend. He goes on and explains that Nancy could be a leak and could tell on them to the police. Fagin, knowing that Sikes has the mordacity and the capability of murder, begins to perform reverse psychology. He knows that if he pulls the right strings that Sikes could do anything for him. Sikes quite easily falls into Fagins mastermind trap, as if he had been brainwashed or hypnotised, he is now going to commit Fagins murder for him. Sikes goes to where Nancy is sleeping and severely shouts and screams at her. This traumatises her, to the extent where she doesnt know what is going on. This makes Nancy vulnerable, and this is where Sikes commits his brutal and sick attack on her. We can tell, just by reading these several lines of the story, the evil and cunningness of Sikes. He continuously beats Nancy to death with a wooden stick. Leaning up top the murder of Curleys wife, which was by far not as hellacious and as horrific as this, Lennie was minding his own business and was in the barn, calmly stroking one of Slims pups. Not knowing his own strength Lennie accidentally killed the pup. Lennie began to become sad and at the same time, angry. He repeatedly thought about George not letting him tend the rabbits, at the home of which the whole is dream is based around. An hell say : Now just for that you aint gunna tend no rabbits. Lennie put the pup in the straw, and began to talk to himself, moaning the death of the pup. Curleys wife enters and begins to flirt with Lennie, who confesses to her liking for stroking nice things. She invites him to stroke her long soft hair, but as the stroking becomes harder, she panics; the harder he strokes the more she panics and then Lennie accidentally breaks her neck. He half-buries the body in the hay and runs off to the brush. As you can tell, both the two murders are of a totally different nature. In of mice and men, the murder was unexpected, and didnt really fit into the surrounding story, On the other hand, In Oliver Twist, a murder was almost inevitable. Sikes was a premeditated murder, as he had thought it out and planned the whereabouts etc. Lennies was out of the blue, an accident neither him or anyone else could of prevented. The setting of the two murders, also are totally different. The murder of Curleys wife was in the barn, in the sunny and hot state of California. The murder of Nancy was in the grimy claustrophobic city of London. The descriptions in the stories of the murders, are again totally opposite. In Oliver Twist, Dickens almost runs a post-mortem on the body, and describes Sikes moves in detail after the murderer. In of mice and men, however, Steinbeck runs a bleak vague synopsis on the happenings.