Essay on "The Winter of Our Discontent" by John Steinbeck

Essay by rt3378High School, 10th gradeA-, October 2007

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AnimalsThroughout "The Winter of Our Discontent", many characters have been depicted as animals, mainly Margie Young Hunt, Mary Hawley, and Ethan Allen Hawley II. Margie’s name shows her character. Mary is constantly described as an animal, and Allen is a plagiarist.

Margie Young Hunt is always prepared for her social life. Even when she is alone, she is wearing all her makeup and looking her best: “Her features regular, nose a little long, lips outlined fuller than they were, the lower particularly. Her hair dyed a rich chestnut brown…. Margie’s eyes had had care. They were that hazel to blue to steel color that changes with the light” (58-59). Her name, Young and Hunt shows her character. She hunts for young people. In many instances in the novel, she tries to seduce Ethan, as well as many other men. In her job as a fortuneteller, she lies when she uses cards because her want was a relationship with certain men.

Second, Mary is described as an animal countless times, even on the first page when Ethan calls her “Miss Mousie” (1). Mary came from a poor family and wanted a good social status, which she thought she achieved after marrying Ethan, but Ethan lost most of his wealth. After finding out what Ethan’s business deals were, she says, “I don’t see how a little money could spoil anything. Not a lot of money—just enough” (112). Mary is also referred to as feral.

Lastly, Allen is willing to plagiarize on his essay to win an award because he wants money. He is an animal for money. In his essay, he did not even change words. All of it was pure plagiarism. Then, after he is caught, he beats the Ellen because she turned him in.

In conclusion, animals were...