The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck was written in 1937 during the Great Depression. it examines themes such as isolation, friendship and strength and weakness, however, the most dominant theme is strength and weakness. Steinbeck explores this concept through his characters and how they influenced by the effects of strength and weakness. Throughout the novel, while strength and weakness of the theme were explored, common things such as racism and sexism were shown throughout the whole novel, conclusively, Steinbeck explores strength and weakness through these main characters Lennie, Curley and Curley’s Wife.
Steinbeck explores the theme’s strength and weakness through the character, Lennie. Lennie’s biggest weakness is his mental capacity, he is mentally weak, he is slow, often does not understand situations, he does not understand his physical strength, Lennie’s mental capacity limits every part of his life and it makes it hard for him to have social contacts outside of George. Lennie repeatedly throughout the novel acts before he thinks and leads him to do horrible things.
Lennie’s, power is demonstrated through his ability to lift two hay bales at once while all his friends attempt to raise one together. ‘He ain’t gonna let me tend no rabbits,’ this quote coupled with how his physical dominance shows obviously that Lennie used his power to ‘do a bad thing’ Clearly demonstrates how dominant he is to have both the puppy and Curley’s wife killed. The strengths of Lennie include his genuine relationship with George when talking with George he explains ‘but not us! An’ why is that? Because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why,’ he laughed with pleasure, ‘George, go on now!’ You received it from the core. You can do it yourself, ‘Lenni says. That reflects the great relationship between Lennie and George and how wonderful their relationship and bond.
Steinbeck explores the theme of strength and weakness through the character Curley. Curley weaknesses are that he is forever trying to prove himself physically since he lacks self-confidence, he is also a jealous and suspicious character; his, also not a nice man since he is the Boss’s son and takes advantage of the power he has over the other men on the farm to treat them cruelly, Curley is also insecure because of his small stature so he tries to prove himself by marrying his wife keeping her from talking to anyone else picking fights with bigger bodies such as Lennie. Curley’s strengths is his authority on the ranch and he was a champion boxer.
Steinbeck analyzes the strength and weaknesses in Curley’s wife as observed Curley’s Wife, she is the only women on the farm leading her to be a target for abuse, since she’s the only women on the farm and that she’s Curley’s wife the other men are jealous as they don’t have a wives , she’s both above and below the others, she’s emotionally weak since she thinks her mother ruined her chance of becoming a famous actress, she’s also a weak character since she’s a woman, it shows throughout the novel she isn’t independent and has no Authority. Curley’s wife’s strengths are that she was openly when Curley is not around flirting with the other men on the ranch and manipulates them since she’s Curley’s wife, who is the son of the boss she can do whatever she wants.
Through all the characters in Of mice and men, especially in Lennie, Curley and Curley’s Wife, Strength and Weakness were analyzed, these characters depicted all their strengths and weaknesses differently from all the other characters mentioned above, with substantial differences from the group, Curley being the Boss’s Son, Lennie being mentally disabled and Curley’s Wife’s gender, Steinbeck demonstrated the strength and weakness of the theme through all the variations of the characters.