Cyclical Structure in "Of Mice and Men"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By magefish50
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The novel "Of Mice and Men" written by John Steinbeck in 1937 is a short novel about the story of two migrant workers living in California. They travel from town to town looking for work at ranches and farms. Steinbeck follows the two migratory workers who dream of saving enough money to buy their own land and finally settling down. One of the main characters is George Milton, an angry, hopeless, and brusque man, who is the leader of the duo. The other half of the duo is Lennie Small, who is oversized, mentally challenged, physically powerful, and inclined to getting into serious trouble. In the novel there are multiple occurrences of repeating patterns and events. Steinbeck effectively uses cyclical patterns throughout his novel to thoughtfully portray its themes. In section four of the novel Steinbeck uses a cyclical pattern to depict feelings of hope and companionship. Section four begins with Crooks, a stable hand, rubbing liniment on his spine alone in his shack with no hope. Next, Lennie wanders into Crooks's and tells him about the protagonists' goals of purchasing a plot of land. Crooks's lack of hope is portrayed when he tells Lennie, "Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land" (Steinbeck 74). This quote marks the beginning of the cyclical cycle showing the reader that Crooks is hopeless. Then, Candy arrives explaining to Lennie and Crooks that buying land may actually be plausible. When Crooks becomes aware of this he has a sudden change of heart. This is the second step of this example of the cycle in which Crooks forms feelings of hope and companionship. Later, Curley's wife approaches the three men asking if they have seen her husband. Candy asks her to leave insisting the men want nothing to do with her, but she refuses. After further berating the men Curley's Wife becomes angry and says to Crooks, "I could get you strung up on a tree so…...

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