omam ( of mice and men)Watch
John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salina Rivers, California, a region that became the setting for much of its work, including OMAM. As a teenager, he spent his summers working as a hired hand in neighbouring ranches. Steinbeck sets OMAM against the backdrop of depression/era America. The economics conditions of the time victimized workers like George and Lennie, whose quest for the American dream was prevented by cruel and powerful forces beyond their control , but whose tragedy was marked by friendship, companionship and love. In OMAM Steinbeck transmits the hardship and difficulties that vulnerable people lived in. He describes a world where only Man could survive and no matter what happen little man like farmers (characters of the book) couldn’t. We notice this reality throughout the novel. In the first section of the book Lennie carried a dead mouse in his pocket that didn’t survive in his strong hands, not only the mouse didn’t survive but the puppy and Curly´s wife had the same fate in section six, this shows the intend of writing about the vulnerable and indefencive people.
To write the novel Steinbeck also used “toast of paradise” written by John Milton and the poem “to a mouse” written by Robert Burnes in 1785 as inspiration. “Toast of Paradise” is a novel that talks about how humanity struggled after being expelled from paradise. The poem “To a mouse” describes the struggle of the mice after his house being destroyed by a man and the struggle that he had to face during winter. The novel is divided in six scenes (chapters) and in each chapter a setting is described. OMAM is a tragic novel told from the point of view of a third-person omniscient narrator who can access the point of view of any character as required by the narrative. The language Steinbeck uses varies from sentimental, tragic, doomed, fatalistic, rustic, moralistic and comic to poetic. The poetic element of Steinbeck’s style is balanced by the realism of the language his characters use. His writing is mainly simple and direct but sometimes the tone does become lyrical
In section one Steinbeck sets the tone and atmosphere of the story location, introduces his two main character begins some thematic considerations adds imagery and foreshadows later events in choices and repetition. When the story opens in the setting are a few miles south of Soledad (Soledad Spanish for loneliness) a reference of one of the novel main themes.
The two main characters are introduced first by their description and then with their names. Their physical portrayal emphasises both their similarities and their individuality. They both wear similar clothes and carry blanked rots and the larger man imitates the smaller. But they are more dissimilar then they are alike: Lennie the larger man limbers along heavily like a bear; George is small and has slender arms and small hands. They also react differently to the pond Lennie is more cautious then George when drinking water from it.
Also in section one the author of the novel shows the men’s relationship: George takes care of Lennie, who is childlike and mentally handicapped, constantly giving advice and instruction, as an example “don’t say anything tomorrow”; “don’t drink water before you check out its quality” are also example of the use of imperative verbs to show the kind of relationship the two farmer have. Although Lennie realizes that George can’t remember simple orders but doesn’t realize how potentially dangerous Lennie is, although Lennies transgressions have been minor like unintentionally killing a mouse and frighten a girl in weeds. George seems to have mixed feelings about Lennie although he complains about having to take care of him and thinks the thing he could do if he didn’t have to take care of him. Steinbeck makes clear that, despite his complaining and frustration, George lookout for Lennie and genially cares for him. A rescoring motif in the novel is George and Lennie's dream of owning their own land. Steinbeck is describing the American dream of owning land, being independent, having material positions that provide him with a feeling of security. This is a place where George won’t be scared of running because he “done a bad thing” Lennie’s voice feels with laughter when he things about the dream.
Steinbeck also begins the animal imagery that will continue throughout the book. Lennie is often compared to a bear with huge size and straight. His hands are described as paws he is always associated with rabbits and mice. These lead careful readers to question Lennies future. Among the many literary devices Steinbeck uses in the story, the techniques of repetition and foreshadowing in order to build up to the climax of the tragedy are some of the most effective. Almost every scene points towards the dreadful ending. For instance, at the beginning of the book, we learn that Lennie likes to stroke mice and other soft creatures but has a tendency to kill them accidentally. This foreshadows the death of his puppy and the death of Curley’s wife. Also, when George reveals that Lennie once grabbed a woman’s dress and would not let go, the reader can more or less predict that similar trouble will arise at the ranch, especially once Curley’s wife appears on the scene. Finally, the scene in which Lennie brutally squeezes Curley’s hand foreshadows the force with which he grabs Curley’s wife by the throat, unintentionally breaking her neck. Lennie’s fate is also foreshadowed in the events surrounding Candy’s dog. When Candy says that he would rather have shot the dog himself rather than allow Carlson to do it, this episode clearly anticipates the difficult decision that George makes to shoot Lennie rather than leave him to the mercy of the ranch hands.
Upon arrival at the ranch, Steinbeck takes the opportunity to introduce the reader, via the newcomers, to a panoply of characters, all loners for one reason or another: the old, maimed and dispirited Candy, the black, crippled and isolated Crooks, the feisty and arrogant boss son, Curley, who is newly and unhappily married, his wife being what the others call a “tramp”;, and the god-like Slim, to whom all the others look up and to whom they all look for an image to idolise. Steinbeck uses each of these in a different way to show facets of loneliness and isolation, with only Slim seeming beyond the idea that he is an object of pity. Somewhat related to the theme of loneliness is racism, which also results in personal isolation. Crooks, the old black man on the ranch, lives alone, ostracised by the ranch hands because of his race. The barrier of racial prejudice is briefly broken, however, when Crooks becomes an ally in the dream to buy a farm. Crooks has a cynical honesty that illustrates Steinbeck's own criticism of American society's failures in the Depression era of the 1930s.