Presentation on theme: "Power in ‘Of Mice & Men’ By Hannah & Joe. Slim Slim, with his "God-like eyes" whose “ear heard more than was said to him” and whose “slow speech had overtones."— Presentation transcript:
Power in ‘Of Mice & Men’ By Hannah & Joe
Slim Slim, with his "God-like eyes" whose “ear heard more than was said to him” and whose “slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought” is the leader on the ranch. He is the man in whom the others place their confidence. Even George opens up to him after he tells George "Hope you get on my team." It is Slim who comforts George and offers him forgiveness and comfort after the shooting of Lennie: "You hadda George. I swear you hadda. Come on with me”. This shows that Slim is sympathetic to George as he knew that George had to do it for Lennie’s benefit and for everyone else’s as Lennie is trouble but not on purpose.
Slim Slim is also a natural leader because he's wise and judicious: ‘Slim’s word is law’. This gives him a position of authority on the farm but, unlike Curley, he doesn't have to exploit or humiliate others to maintain discipline. He has earnt it through having the respect of the men.
George.. George has power in many ways and he is capable of doing many things with this power. George has physical power as he is able to do serious farm work (but not as much as Lennie.). However, because he pulls Lennie’s strings, he is in control of Lennie’s physical power; he can make Lennie do what he wants, as shown in the fight. George is also clever enough to take care of both himself and Lennie in some very difficult situations; like them being able to leave Weed without being caught or worst.
George.. George is also emotionally powerful as he is able to withstand the pressures of being connected to someone like Lennie and even to do the most difficult task at the end (shooting Lennie and killing him). George also has power over Lennie as Lennie looks up to George as he isn’t clever enough to think things through as thoroughly as George can and will do whatever he tells him. ‘Sure we are, if you can gather up some dead willow sticks’.
Lennie.. Lennie doesn’t really have much power on the ranch but one sort of power that he does have is physical power. This is shown during the fight scene: ‘The next minute Curley was flopping like a fish on the line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s big hand’.
Curley.. Curley is the son of the ranch boss. One of Curley’s defining characteristics is that he’s married to a woman he wants to control and can’t. Curley has a lot of power on the ranch because of his father's status on the ranch. Everyone is afraid of him because his father can fire them at any given time for any given reason. Curley can do whatever he wants and the fact that he has a very large ego does not help that. This shows that he has mental power over the others as he believes he can do whatever he likes with no consequences. He can also start on any of the ranch workers as he knows they won’t fight back for fear of getting kicked off the ranch and having to move on again.
Curley’s Wife Curley's wife is a misfit, however; she has more position than the other misfits and this gives her power. This is shown during Chapter 4 when she threatens to get Crooks hung. Curley's wife is a temptress. It is her sexuality that gives her power – the power to manipulate the men and to wind Curley up. She thinks she is in control of other people because she is married to Curley but the others just try and avoid her so they don’t get into trouble and get chucked off the farm. This therefore undermines her power.
The Boss In the book, the boss of the ranch is in control of everything. “Hey, what's your stake in this guy” is what the boss says in a scene where George and Lennie have just arrived on the ranch. This quote shows that he can control who works for him and who doesn't and that he can ask any question he likes and challenge whoever he likes. He can fire someone just because he doesn't like them. He has mental power as he has total control over everyone on the farm; he can decide who works there and who doesn’t and can change his mind without any reason.
Candy Candy has the least power because he is disabled and has no use in society. Candy is a physical misfit; he has one hand and is no longer fit to do much more than wield a mop. Candy lost his hand at the ranch so the boss feels sorry that he lost his arm working for him so he carries on employing him so that he has somewhere to stay and eat. Candy is also a very lonely person as he is alone whilst he works. He works inside whilst all the others work outside.
Crooks Crooks has the least power as he has no value in society. He is considered lowly: he is a social misfit. Crooks by virtue of his skin colour, has no real place on this or any other farm. He is abused and threatened as he is black and a cripple as he has a crooked back. He has no means of fighting back, he is powerless. Crooks has his own room as he isn’t wanted in the same room as the others members of the ranch. He is all alone at night in his room and has no one to talk to. He is shown to feel sad and lonely when he talks to Lennie about having no one to talk with or to ask if he saw the same thing as him so he doesn’t know if he is going mad or not. The power that other people have has made Crooks feel lonely, sad and isolated.