Tuesday, January 21, 2020
To what extent is Of Mice and Men a novel of protest? Essay -- English
To what extent is Of Mice and Men a novel of protest? John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men conveys the impression, that it is a novel of protest. The character Candy suffers from discrimination because of his age and his disability. Steinbeck uses this character to protest against ageism and the treatment of the disabled during the Great Depression. The repeated reference to Candy's hopelessness could be understood as a protest against ageism. He says more than once that if he "can't swamp out no bunkhouses, they'll put" him "in the county". His whole life is based on one pillar, the kindness of the boss. He "wisht somebody'd shoot" him, if he gets fired. He "won't have no place to go" and is tied on the ranch. When Curley's wife says that Candy is "a lousy ol' sheep", Candy "subsided". He suggests to tell the boss about that dispute, but he knows that "nobody'd listen to" them. Steinbeck uses these situations to protest against ageism. The hopelessness is also used by John Steinbeck to protest against the treatment of the disabled during the Great Depression. Candy knows that he does not have a future. Crooks emphasises this fact, when he says that Candy will be "a swamper till they take" him "out in a box". Candy swamps out houses, because he is not able to do something else. Although he hopes that their dream will work, he recognises that it is unrealistic. It is unrealistic because of his disability. Steinbeck's protest against the treatment of the disabled is evident from the way he describes Candy's hopelessness. Through his descriptions of Candy's primitive working and living conditions, Steinbeck protests against ageism. Candy is an "old swamper", who lives in a "bunkhouse". His possess... .... That is another parallel between Candy and his dog. Both, Candy and his dog are handy-capped. Carlson discriminates Candy as well, when he states that the dog "can't eat, can't see" and "can't even walk without hurting". The dog would be "no good to himself". Candy receives these statements as discriminations against him. What about him, if his dog has to be shoot? Steinbeck's protest against the discrimination of the disabled is evident from these descriptions. To some extent, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a novel of protest. When he wrote the novel, Steinbeck was sad because of the horrible situation of the old and disabled during the Great Depression. The themes of ageism and the treatment of the disabled are protested through Candy. Candy does not play a very big role in the story, but he plays a very big role in the background of the novel.