Why Is of Mice and Men Described as a Tragic Novel? Essay

I would regard the film mice and men as a tragic novel which is full of many dreams that don’t come true, and that being the overall message and tragedy throughout the story. Steinbeck represents tragedy in many events, through many of the characters, the main example of tragedy i would say to me would be the fact the characters George and Lennie have so much hope and dreams that all end in the worst. They have always been a team and George has always convinced Lennie that ‘We got a future. And always tells him the story: ‘ok, someday- we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and.. ’. Every time Lennie hears this story it reassures him and cheers him up. Lennie is described as a ‘huge man’ with ‘sloping shoulders’ with ‘large pale eyes’ who ‘walked heavily’ and is portrayed by Steinbeck as a child, who would never do anything to hurt anyone on purpose. However its a tragedy to me to read that, because of the way Steinbeck has created his size and appearance many problems come his way and he doesn’t know what to do.

Lennie often causes a lot of trouble without realising and gets very upset; he has always been shown to have a love of mice and anything soft and it is showed that he clearly loves and cares about these things. On the travel back from weed George discovers Lennie has a dead mouse hidden in his pocket and takes it away from him, Lennie gets upset by this and explains that he didn’t kill him: ‘ i didn’ kill it. Honest! I found it. I found it dead. ’ ‘I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along. However it’s clear that Lennie did kill him but by accident when he was petting him because he is so strong. Lennie also kills a puppy later on in the story and Curly’s wife which are also accident because of the strength of himself. ‘I didn’t mean no harm, George. ’ However there is not only tragedy in these characters but Steinbeck also shows it through other characters like Curly’s wife when she explains her story and dreams to become famous and on TV but she was lent down when the man she met didn’t reply or as she likes to think his letter was hidden.

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There is also tragedy through racism and discrimation against crooks throughout the book which is mainly shown in chapter four where Curly’s wife verbally attacks him and makes him feel worthless by saying ‘Listen, Nigger, you know what i can do to you if you open your trap? ’ This makes Crooks realise that no one would listen to him and that she could do much more harm to him than he could to her. ‘Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ant even funny. ’ There is also the killing of Candy’s dog by Carlson.

Candy is shown to of loved his dog very much and to have he had him since he was a pup, he was the only one there for him however the dog was to old and was causing to much trouble with the other men who complained about his smell. Carlson said it would be best for everyone to Candy and that he would shoot him in the back of the head so he would feel no pain. When this happened Candy was very upset as he lost his dog that meant everything to him, and regretted letting Carlson kill him instead of him because it wasn’t out of love. This is very similar i think to the terribly tragedy ending where George shoots Lennie.

It is done the same way ‘in the back of the head’ however this time it was done out of love by George rather than letting someone else do it out of selfishness. Lennie had always been part of George and they stuck together through everything and came as a pair. Just like candy and his dog, this is tragic because both gave in and this resulted in there only loved ones being killed because of the influence and decisions of others. Its tragic that no one is portrayed to be there own person but have to realie on the decisions of others, and not have equal rights, that there is no happy ending and never will be.

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