They Left All the Weak Ones Here

| September 13, 2020

In section 4 of the novel “of mice and men”, George and the ranchers have left the “weak ones” at the ranch and gone into town. Although Curley’s wife is the one who refers to them as the “weak ones”, she herself is included in this group. The theme which is emphasised in this section is the overriding theme that humanity is small and fragile in comparison with the forces that control our lives. Steinbeck shows great compassion to this group of people, he describes is great detail before this section of the hopes and dreams of each and every one of “the weak ones” and how they will never be achieved.In this group are four people, each with their own problems, stories and hopes, this actual event occurs in Crook’s room where crooks, Lennie and candy are talking about their dream of owning a small farm and “live on the fatta the lan’.
”. Before Candy enters, Crooks denies lennie’s dream, telling him “nobody gets no land. ” But when Candy defends Lennie and tells Crooks “we got the money right now” Crook’s mind is changed completely when he realises they might be able to get this land, “if you…guys…would want a hand to work for nothing – just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. All “the weak ones” are united by this single dream and brought together in shared happiness and anticipation. “The thing they had never really believed in was coming true. ” Until curley’s wife walks in and shatters the mood as she is just as unwanted as the men, but she is alone, very similar to Crooks and also she uses very similar words as him “think I don’t like to talk somebody ever’ once in a while? ” this shows her and Crooks are the most lonely characters in the novel.Lennie is the main victim of this novel and without his mental weaknesses would probably not be a victim, Steinbeck chose Lennie to represent the people in this world who are victims who don’t understand them because they are different.
Steinbeck compares lennie’s strength to animals many times throughout the novel “Lennie covered his face with his huge paws” this shows Lennie is not at all physically weak and could potentially be very dangerous as he does not understand what he is doing because of his mental deficiencies which prepares the reader for the end of the novel.Also due to his mental problems he could not survive on his own without his “leader” George, George is always giving Lennie orders and making sure he does nothing bad “if there’s any fightin’, Lennie, you keep out of it. ” Lennie is the follower to George which is ironic as George is relatively small whereas Lennie is very big and strong “strong as a bull” which again shows animal imagery. Candy is the opposite of Lennie, he is mentally fine and relatively clever whereas he is physically disabled as he lost his hand in an accident on the ranch.Candy is seen as inferior by almost everyone on the ranch due to his age and physical appearance/disabilities “a lousy ol’ sheep” candy is scared that as soon as he is unable to work, he will be thrown off the ranch which will lead to starvation as he will not be able to get anywhere or work anywhere else. This fact is the reason candy is most exited for their dream to own a small piece of land as there when he cannot work they would not just throw him out as they have compassion for him. It is very ironic that the compensation candy received from losing his hand is the money he has offered George to buy his share in the land.

Steinbeck compares candy to his dog which is also old, infirm and weak. Candy sees his future when Carlson kills his dog. Both with be disposed of when they can no longer work. Candy tells George “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog” this mirrors the end of the novel when George shoots Lennie. Although candy has never really stood up for himself this new dream gives him confidence to shout at Candy’s wife when she starts denying their dream “you got no call foolin’ aroun’ with other guys, causing trouble. Candy represents the downtrodden victims within today’s society who may have the strength to rise up and make something of their lives.
Candy is only now weak physically because he has stood up for others and himself because he now thinks he can go to a small piece of land and live peacefully until he dies as from this point he can only degenerate. Like candy, Crooks is an example of Steinbeck’s compassion. Crooks is not only a black man in a racially unbalanced world but he also has a physical disability. So from many views, Crooks could be seen as the most victimised character, only being treated equal by slim “Oh!Sure, crooks. I’ll come right out an’ put it on” although the other ranchers recognise him as a “nice fella” they have no compassion for him as shown when they used him as entertainment when they were drunk on Christmas, “they let the nigger come in that night… the nigger got him. If he coulda used his feet, Smitty said he woulda killed the nigger. ” Crooks is included by Steinbeck as a character to promote the cause of the black people at the time and to open people’s minds towards the ideas of exclusion and loneliness.
Although crooks is treated very unfairly most the time he pounces on the opportunity to torment someone of a lower social status than himself. Crooks is completely without rights – “I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny. ” Crooks tells Lennie he was not always poor and lonely “I ain’t no southern negro” he tells that his father was rich and owned lots of land which he let the “white kids come to play at our place” which shows he is not as prejudice as many other people.During the novel we are not told how crooks ended up in this position which one can only conclude that he was very unlucky throughout younger life which makes the reader fell further sorry for him. Crooks knows he will never be able to get anywhere with his life, so he would rather stay put than try and chase an impossible dream and be let down again “I didn’ mean it. Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go no place like that.
’”.At the point where Curley’s wife enters Crook’s room all the men are having a good time talking about the land they hope to own in the future, she destroys the mood by insulting the and labelling them as weak whereas she is included in the group as she herself has been left behind while her husband visits a “whore house” she insults the all calling them “A nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep” Steinbeck shows her as a very sexually attractive woman who dresses herself up to much which the men see as a very negative point as they could get into trouble if they get involved with her, George describes her “ I seen ‘em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. ” Lennie is very attracted to her “gosh, she was purty” which is very ominous. She is very provocative to the men “she got the eye goin’ all the time on everybody”. She dresses in “a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers,” completing the look with a “heavily made up” face.Out of all the ranchers she is most like crooks as even though he is a man he is also left by himself and does not talk to people very much “think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time? Steinbeck makes us feel sorry for Curley’s wife by introducing her American dream and how it led to her marriage to Curley who she no longer feels love for. He is the person who made her feel weak.
And know that without him she feels she could have made something of herself so at this moment the reader cannot refrain from feeling sympathetic to her plight. Steinbeck uses this scene to draw together all the weaker characters of his novel, emphasising some of the problems that those who are victims in society for whatever reason face. Regular members of society must help and aid those less fortunate, unlike those stronger characters of the novel who did indeed, “leave all the weak ones here”.

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