How significant is the theme of violence in "Of Mice and Men"?

Essay by richoHigh School, 11th gradeB+, November 2007

download word file, 10 pages 4.3

The novel 'Of Mice and Men', written by John Steinbeck, is a tale of an extraordinary friendship between two ranch workers who fight for survival in the harsh times of the 1930s, the great depression of America. The essay concerns the role of violence throughout the novel and explores the theme of violence in different parts of the tale, as well as looking how specific characters use violence for different reasons. Specific areas of which the novel will explore are parts such as the death of Curlys wife, the fight between Curly and Lennie and the death of Lennie.

The content of the book as a strong historic and social element, as well as a literary one. The social element refers to the way they lived. This would have been poorly, as they were in a great time of depression, where most of America lived in poverty. This also links to the historic element.

America was very poor at the time. The literary element refers to the structure of the novel. The novel is written in play form, which makes it particularly easy to turn into a play.

The theme of violence is a major theme in the novel, and the violence in speech between characters is a regular occurrence. This is noticeable in the speech between George and Lennie. From the very start of the novel we can see examples of George becoming irritated and enraged with Lennie. 'Lennie! Lennie, for god sake don't drink so much'. This shows George becoming impatient with Lennie, and also gives us a taste of the power and mother like figure George is towards Lennie.

'I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you're a crazy bastard!' This shows us an insight into George's personality and the way...