Several characters in Of Mice and Men are trapped or feel as if they are caught in a trap

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How does Steinbeck show the causes and effects of being tapped?

Write about:’ how and why different character feel trapped’

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The different ways characters respond to being trapped how Steinbeck makes the reader feel admiration, dislike or pity for characters who are trapped

Look at the following pairs of relationships in Of Mice and Men:

Candy and his dog; Curly and his wife; George and Lennie. Write about these three relationships, showing how Steinbeck explores the needs that keeps relationships going, despite conflict and strain.

Question 1

Steinbeck shows the causes and effects of being trapped by introducing George and Crooks in to the novel.

He introduces crooks racially but he didn’t mean it racially. Crook was a black character and so he was isolated from everyone else. He wasn’t allowed to mingle with the white boys as his father told him when he was younger. This must have made him feel isolated. He also must have felt racially prejudice because he couldn’t live with the white people he must have thought hang on a minute I’m not having this because this is favouring someone else over him just because they are a different coloured skin. He reacted to prejudice himself by doing what his father told him to do but when he finally had the chance to meet a white person and talk to them (Lennie) he took advantage and started taunting Lennie which probably made him feel really uncomfortable. We know this was true because he said to Lennie that George had left him and because Lennie is so dumb he believed him (this is an impression of taunting in the book).

He introduces George’s character in the book because he felt trapped but under different circumstances. George felt trapped by Lennie’s need. It would be a big responsibility for someone even now to look after someone who is as dumb and mind disturbed as Lennie. He was a very fragile and vulnerable. George had a big responsibility of looking after Lennie and this must have made him feel trapped because of the way that he was always there, near him and could never get away from him apart from when he went into the town in the day. George ‘s need for Lennie also was trapped, as George wanted a companion someone to travel with because if you don’t have a companion then really you don’t have much. Before George took Lennie on to travel with him we were told as past piece that George is saying that he used to get real lonely when he travelled alone. The last trapping of George is the illusion of the American dream with Lennie.

George got so tied up in this dream that he was trapped and couldn’t get out. He wanted this dream so much “to live of fatta the lan” and to be a success in this dream he wanted it to happen for not just himself but Lennie as well. He got so illussional into the dream that in the end the dream ended when he shot Lennie. All of the time the dream was going to waste but they never saw that it was happening. When other characters in the play are trapped they respond in different (peculiar) ways than what crooks and George responded like.

Curly responded to entrapment by violence. He thought that violence was the answer all of the time but really it’s not. He thought he was really good but he only fought to people who he thought he could fight e.g. the brutal and unapproved attack on gentle Lennie immediately follows the scene in which the sympathetic characters realise they have a chance for a good and independent future. Curly’s two other ideas to respond to the entrapment that I read in the novel are:

He left his wife when he went to the brothel and had a drink or two and mixed with the women. Even though he was doing this he was stopping her from coming to the ranch or at least trying to. He didn’t realise that she was going to the ranch flirting with the lads and making them attracted towards her especially Lennie.

The next point was by playing on past with the greasing hand. He claims to keep a glove on one hand full of Vaseline to improve his sexual performance.

Curley’s wife responds to being trapped by being untrapped disobeying curly and by going to the ranch to flirt with all of the men. She does this because she gets very lonely very easily. She doesn’t hang around with the workers to just flirt with them she also does this so that she can make conversation because I’m sure being someone’s wife and them not paying any attention in you unless they want sex is quite depressing really. She was trapped in her American dream when the man told her about the fact that she looked like Marilyn Monroe.

She believed him in what he said. Here it is a comparison but not with another in the novel in the outside world. She was a bit like mm because of her mythical figure in American entertainment. To be capable of excluding her he sexuality and combing it with innocence, vulnerability and an inability to enjoy sex. A man that basically made no sense whatsoever swept her into this illusion and has kept her vulnerability up by her being illusional about this. The last way in which she responded to being trapped was by taunting the husband she was afraid of but married to by going to see the men on the ranch and flirting with them, This was basically taking the Mick out of Curly.

Steinbeck makes the reader feel different points of view about different characters. For Lennie he uses description. The person reading the novel pity Lennie because he is such a small person and is dumb. Lennie is too dumb to look after himself. He has to have help otherwise he will die. In the novel by description also Slim is talked about which shows admiration towards him by not only just Steinbeck but the reader as well. He was an honest and dignified character and he was the only character in the novel who was. This made his stand out from the rest of the characters because of his unique person. By what Steinbeck wants us to thick he represents Curly really as the bad guy and I mean there is always a bad guy in the novel.

He shows the dislike in Curly by having several scenes in the novel of which the men of the ranch are talking about him e.g. when they are talking about the wages saying that they don’t get enough if curly was to find out about this he would have fights with everyone. By the way that Steinbeck shows candy and his dog, Candy is pitied by his speech the way that Steinbeck wants us to see him speaking in the novel in our minds. You can’t examine a novel without imagination. He trying to get us to see that when he lost his dog he didn’t say much so he is the character that is really sort of pathetic. He has just had his dog killed and he is nearly I tears or so Steinbeck wants us to imagine. The last point is about how Steinbeck makes the reader feel admiration, dislike or pity characters who are trapped by letting the reader make up own mind of the description of the shooting of Lennie.

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Several characters in Of Mice and Men are trapped or feel as if they are caught in a trap. (2017, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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