Course Work on Literature: Motifs in Of Mice and Men Novel

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George Washington University
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Course work
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Motif: Violence

The role played by Curley in the novel Of Mice and Men is centered on the theme of violence. He is presented as violent and vindictive, whose action lead to strained relationships with his friends. In the entire plotline, Curley has been used as an epitome violence through his aggressive character. For instance, when Curley goes to Georges house to enquire about Slim, he is angry at the response he gets. It is reported that Curley Curley jumped out the door and banged it after him (p26). The act of slamming the door is an indication that Curley is an angry person. His hostile nature is orchestrated by his insecurities and physical shortcomings. It is alleged that Curleys like a lot of little guysHe hates big guys (p51). From this description, it is revealed that the violence perpetrated by Curley is motivated by anger directed towards people who are better than him in any perspective. Curley also picks fights with Lennie. The next minute Curley was flopping like a fish on a line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennies big hand (p 91). Opting for physical fights attests that Curley epitomizes violence in this text.

Project Sheet for Lennie

Motif: Hopes and Dreams

Lennie is one of the characters who have been used in the story to outline individuals aspirations. While interacting with George, Lennie says: It aint no lie. Were gonna do it. Gonna get a little place an live on the flatta the lan. From this statement, it is apparent that Lennies ambitions are to own a better place in future, where they can stay. It is also revealed that Lennie considers the raring of rabbits as his source of hope, financially. "The hell with the rabbits. That's all you can ever remember is them rabbits. (p19). Lennies obsession with rabbits implies his resilience in trying to improve his life. Lennie is committed to working hard to achieve the desires of his life. If we don't like a guy, we can say, 'Get the hell out' (p20). This statement demonstrates Lennies dream is having a prosperous future, where he will be a boss.

Project Sheet for Crooks

Motif: Loneliness and Isolation

Crook epitomizes the theme of loneliness and isolation in the novel. Crook leads a lonely life. He acknowledges that A guy goes nuts if he ain't got anybody (p15). From this assertion, it is apparent that people need each other to have a proper mind frame. The nature of the job can also make a person feel lonely and isolated. For example, according to Crooks; Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys (Chapter 1, p13). From this revelation, Crooks is admitting that he is lonely, which contributed by his type of job. Crooks also feels segregated because of his race. They play cards in there, but I cant play because Im black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink for me. (p75). Crooks cannot interact freely with others because he is black, making him feel alienated.

Physical description and Personality Traits

The novel, Of Mice and Men has used various characters who played different roles. Lennie Small is the huge man who travels with George. Throughout the story, Lennie Small has the tendencies of killing small animals such as puppy. Candy is a senior man, who had lost a hand through an accident that happened in the ranch. Candys dog is killed by Carlson since it is too old to live (p62). Curley is the boss son who has a small body and always aggressive. Curleys hand is broken when he picks a fight with Lennie. Curleys wife is a beautiful woman whose dream of becoming film star is shattered by his husbands insecurities. Slim also works on the ranch. Slim gives Lennie a puppy. Carlson is a ranch-hand. According to Carlson, Candys dog is smelly and too old to live, prompting him to kill it. Crook is the only black worker in the ranch, who suffers racial prejudices. Crook is barred from sleeping in the bunk house because he is African American.



Steinbeck, J. (2003). Of Mice and Men. New Longman Literature.

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