Poverty Comes In All Types & Exists In All Forms: "Of Men And Mice" By John Steinbeck.

1730 words - 7 pages

Poverty comes in all types and exists in all forms. It is poverty when you don't have enough to eat and we see it every time we pass a homeless person in the city. Poverty surrounds us; it is in the very air we breathe. However, when we talk about poverty, one doesn't usually think in terms of emotional needs. Mother Teresa once said, "The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved." Loneliness is a prime example of poverty [obviously]. It is described as a feeling of bleakness and desolation. John Steinbeck's story, Of Men And Mice, is a perfect story about loneliness and abandonment. This is a story about two men who have found a job at this one ranch. George is a small man who has been asked to look after Lennie. Even though he whines a lot, we know that he appreciates the bond he has with Lennie. Lennie is a big guy, can't understand anything except the most basic of emotions - one of them being loneliness. Because of Lennie's innocence and simply being able to understand loneliness, he is the one that ends up talking to two of the loneliest characters [ironically]. Though he cannot understand what they are saying, he understands that they are lonely. These two characters are Crooks and Curley's wife. Crooks has been segregated from the group of ranch workers just because his skin color is different. He may be the smartest man on the ranch yet he cannot share it with anyone. His abilities have gone to waste and slowly, the loneliness and feeling of abandonment is eating him alive. Curley's wife doesn't have a specific name and that is because she is not thought of as a person but rather a possession of Curley's. She is his to use when he wants, to ignore when he wants, to dictate what he wants. She is nameless. She is not thought of as her own person but rather Curley's. Mother Teresa's quote is true because it doesn't matter if you don't have much earthly possessions because earthly possessions go as quickly as they come. But emotions stay forever. If you were poor, it would be better if you shared it with a friend because in a sense, you would have help while trying to overcome all odds. Companionship is what matters, because we all need someone to shift our troubles over to. We all need someone to help us with the burden of daily stresses.Through the use of characterization, Steinbeck shows us how Crooks is one of the loneliest men on the ranch. Because of racial segregation back then, folks who weren't "white" [Caucasians] were separated from them. Crooks is the only African American man on the ranch. He is forbidden to enter the men's bunkroom and has to stay in his own room located in the stable. Even though he may be the smartest man on the ranch, he is treated like an animal. As events in chapter four unroll, it is seen that Lennie is talking to Crooks. This is the one time Crooks is able to interact. Ironically, it is with someone who cannot understand a thing Crooks is saying. Lennie does not understand...

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