Advanced Lit. and Comp.
Symbolism is a key concept throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. Though there were many examples of symbolism, mice were paramount throughout the book, even included in the title of the novel. They were symbolic of the struggle with helplessness. The mice and Lenny were helpless and acted without the ability to understand consequences they may face because of their lack of cognitive ability.
The mice in the story were helpless creatures that were only seeking love and ...view middle of the document...
All he wanted was to be loved and cared for like any other person. He was unable to understand the potential consequences of his actions, but rather acted on impulse. He was so helpless that most of the time when he got into situations, he couldn’t even remember them. So when Lennie and Curleys wife got into an argument and Lennie got scared he acted upon impulse and shook Curleys wife to death.
The title of the book is Of Mice and Men which from previous examples show how both can be helpless creatures. In examples throughout the book these helpless creatures are taken in to be loved and cared for, only to betray “the hand that feeds them”. They were only seeking love and affection which is a common basic need for all living beings. Because of their lack of understanding both mice and men are shown to be helpless and lack understanding of long term consequences of their impulsive actions.
The Symbolism of helplessness is unraveled throughout the telling of the novel. The paramount example being Mice and Lennie, as hinted in the title. The understanding of these two different creatures all relates back to how their lack of intelligence and their act on impulsivity. Their desire for love and affection makes them even more vulnerable and helpless. The key concept of how one creatures helplessness relates to another.