All The Characters Of Of Mice And Men As Victims

2565 words - 10 pages

Most if not all the characters in Of Mice and Men can be seen as
victims in one way or another discuss

“Of Mice and Men” was set in the Great Depression which could make
every one in the book a victim, whatever their circumstance. Most
people didn’t have a job and those who were employed were working in
terrible conditions; they were victims of an employment system which
gave no rights to the workers. Job insecurity meant that workers were
forced to take low pay and the mass of unemployed men meant that
anyone who complained would lose their job immediately and be replaced
by someone who was desperate for work.

The South West was known as the “Dust Bowl” because of the drought
that had led to crops failing and soil drying to dust. Families
dreamt they would find a better life in California and the west of
America because they believed there were a lot of jobs there. These
dreams turned into nightmares as 350,000 Dust Bowl exiles from
Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas came to California in the 1930s seeking
employment in the Orange Groves. There were not enough jobs or homes
for so many people. Like the characters in the novel the harsh
economic reality makes victims of them all.

George is a victim in a number of ways

He is a victim of “The Great Depression”; as itinerant workers he and
Lennie have to keep roaming round in search of work. He is well aware
of his situation as he tells Lennie “Guys like us that work on ranches
are the loneliest guys in the world…they ain’t got nothing to look
ahead to.”

Arguably, George is less of a victim because he has a goal in life,
“Some day we’re gonna get the jack together an’ we’re gonna have a
little house an a couple acres…” this dream makes the work bearable
and keeps Lennie happy. George had a happy childhood and wants to
recreate it by getting his own ranch. His happy memories would have
ended when “The Great Depression” started. However, by the end of the
book the dream has turned to dust, “Slim twitched George’s elbow,
‘come on, George, me an’ you’ll go in an’ get a drink.’” One gets the
impression that without Lennie George will end up sitting in a bar
room “blowing [his] jack”.

George is lost without Lennie but his friendship with Lennie also
makes him into a victim “If [the boss] finds out what a crazy bastard
you are, then we won’t get no job.” George would probably have a much
easier life if he wasn’t with Lennie, “‘they ran us out of Weed’”.

However it is not clear that George sees himself as a victim, “run us
out, hell’ said George disgustedly, ‘we run. They were lookin’ for us
but they didn’t catch us.’” This image of George and Lennie running as
a team is a very humorous one. Steinbeck does not portray them as
complete victims; they seem to enjoy the memory of the chase. “Lennie
giggled happily”.

Lennie is a victim of himself: his learning disabilities hold himself
and George back. He acts like a toddler; George is always telling

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