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Symbolistic writing

“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes,” Kurt Vonnegut once said. Symbolism is also shown in John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men. The novella starts with two good friends, George and Lennie, one of whom is mentally ill (Lennie). They are running from their former workplace, Weed, because of Lennie’s actions. Lennie like’s touching soft, fluffy things. He does not understand that it is not right to touch other people’s clothes or belongings. This led to an altercation with a female that caused George and Lennie to run from Weed. The two friends found a new home, but Lennie messes things up again: Lennie accidently kills Curley’s wife while trying to touch her soft hair. George then has to do what is right, and kill Lennie. Steinbeck uses three symbols throughout the novel: Curley’s wife’s lack of a name, Crooks’s lightbulb, and Crooks’s broken back. Initially, Steinbecks making Curley’s wife lack a name was symbolic. Steinbeck writes “’Jesus what a tramp,’ He said. ‘So that’s what Curley picks for a wife’” (32). By making Curley’s wife lack a name Steinbeck symbolized that she has no identity. It showed that she was just another piece of property. Another example of Curley’s wife’s lack of identity is shown in the following: “Candy pointed at Curley’s wife. George stared. ‘What’s the matter with her?’ he asked” (94). At this point Curley’s wife had been murdered, and no character showed any significant reaction. She was not respected, and thats all she was seen as “Curley’s wife.” Secondly, another example of symbolism is Crook’s lightbulb. Steinbeck wrote “In the stable buck’s room a small electric globe threw a meager yellow light” (67). This symbolized that Crook’s head is filled with thoughts and information just as a lightbulb fills up a room with light. Another example is “And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905” (67). This shows Crook’s desire to learn new information. Crooks wanted to be ahead of the others, because he felt undermined. The fact that he was african american at that time period motivated him.

1 Answer

  • John
    Lv 6
    7 years ago
    Best Answer

    Nicely done and have clearly pointed out some important things. It seems well written, but I'm not sure about the mistakes if any. You can make it more interesting by giving a good flow of writing, because sometimes it lacks in the above given work. Get a view on this from a veteran, may be a lecturer to make it completely error free.

    All the best :)

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