An Undisclosed Fate

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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In life there are many things that happen that lead people to believe that something else will happen soon. A person's destiny is sometimes out of one's control but sometimes it's not. This holds true with many cases such as in movies or even novels. This theme of "An undisclosed fate" is expressed very often in the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, where three characters, George, Lennie, and Curley's wife have their fate determined from the very beginning.

One of the main characters, George, has his fate almost declared right away by this quote that he said. "Well "" look, we're gonna work on a ranch like the one we come from up north." (p. 6) Reading into this quote, one can realize that it is a sort of foreshadowing for George. After reading the entire story, it is apparent that he probably will be a bindle stiff all of his life, moving from ranch to ranch, or just staying at this one.

The quote is much more long term then what is thought about on the outside, if thought about on a larger scale it tends to make more sense in the end when everything seems to come together on the subjects of this novel. George's life will probably not amount to anything large because of his responsibility for Lennie. On the other hand, he has his dream that he and Lennie will go off on their own, "An' live off the fatta the lan'," (p. 14) as his best friend Lennie exclaimed about his and George's desired fate. However, this is merely a dream because his destiny is to work at a ranch for the rest of his life. The sad part is, is that his hopes sky rocket when Candy tells them about the stake that he has collected over the time that he has been working at the ranch. His stake is large, and makes George's start thinking about how he can get to his dream ranch. On the other hand though he has to take care of Lennie. This can spoil many things that he could have done without Lennie. But he has to take care of him because if he doesn't, no one will. Lennie is very restrictive with what George can do because of his child like mentality. Just the same as the fact that certain actions that can't be done with a child, also can't be done with Lennie. This almost restricts George's destiny to taking care of Lennie for the rest of his life or Lennie's. The funny part is, is that this fate does come true in the end. And George is, in a sense, released from his obligation with Lennie. But his original destiny probably still won't change. He won't have the heart to go on with the cottage plan after killing Lennie. That would have to take a lot of guts and self-justification on George's part. George has many actions that happen to him and actions that he does effect the fate of the rest of his life.

Lennie, a child minded lummox has a fate dealt to him by his simple mind. His destiny is to get the ranch with George and live off the fat of the land and be happy as imaginable. But this seems impossible by the way George is talking to Lennie. The reader first figure's out that he is mentally challenged and has a very bad memory, and to top-it it all off he is extremely strong. "Course you did. Well, look. Lennie-if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush." (p. 15) This quote said by George seems to be a fate for Lennie. It is another form of foreshadowing from the novel that there is a chance that Lennie might get in trouble and will have to use the secret hiding spot. As the book goes on, there are more and more hints that Lennie will get in to major trouble and will have to use the escape spot. One such spot is where Lennie smashes Curley's hand and another spot is "This ain't no bad thing like I got to go hide in the brush" (p. 85) This one almost gives it away. This action is not big enough to the to send him running to the hiding place, but it implies that there will be one coming up soon that will make him run there. Consequently, he goes and kills Curley's wife by accident. This probably means a destiny of death in those days. But to him, he thinks his destiny, after the death, is that George will just give him a really good lecture about how bad he's been. "George gonna give me hell," (p. 100) George did not give him hell at all, just put his life to rest with a nice thought in Lennie's mind. Lennie's fate was changed drastically when he killed Curley's wife.

Curley's wife had it coming to her all the way. She walks in to the all-male bunkhouse frequently asking for her husband, and it was not to find him either, she just wanted to know if he was around so that she could flirt with the other guys. She was never emotionally attached to Curley. George's comment about Curley's wife to Lennie is, "Well you keep away from her, "˜cause she's a rattrap if I ever seen one." p. (32) . This furthermore enhances her personality along with another quote by George "Jesus, what a tramp," (p. 32) because even characters of the novel have the same opinion about her as I do. So her fate is sealed as being the tramp. She traps the people and then let's them go. In this case, she had trapped Lennie, and whatever she said could eventually void whatever George says. This is because she is so persuasive, and she knows that she can get Lennie to fall for her. But what she does not know is that Lennie will fall into the trap, and everything will go much farther than she intends. Her destiny is being the tramp, but there is not much of a clue that Lennie will kill her.

"An undisclosed fate" is expressed many times in the novel Of Mice and Men where three characters, George, Lennie, and Curley's wife shall have their fate exposed to the reader but not to themselves. George will most likely work at ranches for the rest of his life. Lennie had a fate of early death. And Curley's wife had the fate of being a tramp bestowed on her ever since she married a man that she did not enjoy being with, and eventually she was killed. Destiny and fate are sometimes out of one's control but not always. The world is full of fate but it is always a mystery to everyone, because if it wasn't life would be no fun.