Tradgedy In "Of Mice And Men"

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Tragedy is a theme rarely dealt with by current writers. The main contributor to such a factor in today's writing may be clarified by considering the society in which we live in and the pressures that it applies on us. In such a society as today's, it is understandable that the general public prefers to read stories that are of a fantasy nature rather than narratives that deal with the genuine, and sometimes tragic, events of reality. However, despite the common belief, tragedy is and will always be a part of our lives and only if we start to accept and learn from them will we begin to be able to advance, both mentally and psychologically, to a higher level.

The novel, Of Mice and Men, deals with the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small. George is a small, intelligent man while Lennie, on the other hand, is a giant and a lesser intellect.

These two main characters are ranch workers who wander from town to town in search of work. They survive and nurture from the fantasy of their dream to own a piece of land on which they can build their farm. However, as the establishment of their dream approaches reality, Lennie, similar to his behaviour of the past, makes an unintended mistake - that is, he kills the ranch owner's son's wife and gets into trouble. Consequently, as the other ranch workers seeks to slaughter Lennie, George has no other choice but to mercifully to kill his only friend. As a result, George not only looses his friend but also his dream.

The poem, "The best-laid schemes o' mice and' men aft agley," not only provided Steinbeck with a title but also summarised the story. It states that men is at the mercy of...