The Great Depression, the worst economic crisis to ever happen in US history lasted from 1931 to 1940. When the stock market crashed it led to many lost jobs and the explosion of employment rose due to many companies laying off workers. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck portrayed these several characters as underdogs like for example Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife all suffered from different forms of powerlessness. Candy was powerless having a broken arm and of old age made him appear weaker, Crooks being a black and having a crooked back and being left out made him powerless, and Curley’s wife for a being a female she didn’t process many rights made her powerless. Another main example who be powerless is Lennie who always gets himself in trouble and regardless of all the warnings he gets from George he can’t help getting in trouble. Powerlessness is shown many forms for example intellectual, financial, societal. Each individual in John Steinbeck’s book feels like they are unable to control the direction they need to reach their goal.
In the beginning of the story George reminds Lennie about their special bond between them and their dream. George relates that loneliness is responsible for suffering. In the quote it states “Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family.They don’t belong no place…with us it ain’t like that we got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us”. This quote stood out because Steinbeck set out to expose the circumstances that cause human suffering Their bond is made to appear rare and precious since most of the world does not appreciate it. Lennie shares with Crooks his plan to buy a farm with George. Crooks tries to deflate his dreams and hopes that relates to their desired home and that hundreds have the same dream and not one of them, he sympathizes with accomplished it. This quote shows, “Every damn on of em’s got a little piece of land in his head. Never a God damn one of em ever gets it. Just like heaven… Nobody never gets to heaven, gets not land”. This moment sets Crook’s character showing how a lifetime of loneliness and depression can affect a person’s personality and manifest cruelty. This text also shows the financial form of powerlessness that many men try to go after the dream but circumstances come in the way of getting that piece of land he also compares it to the difficulty of trying to heaven. At this time its difficult to get their dream because man are paid so little it’s hard to save up.
Both Lennie and Crooks remain outside of society. Crooks has been isolated for so long no one ever talks to him he’s an underdog to everyone else. This quote expresses “Candy leaned against the wall beside the broken collar while he scratched his wrist stump. “I been here a long time,” he said. “An’ Crooks been here a long time. This’s the first time I ever been in his room.” Crooks said darkly, “Guys don’t come into a colored man’s room very much.” Crooks comes to his room to find Lennie and he also sees that he never paid attention to him even after spending years on that barn. It is shown the societal example where being black means that he gets treated different you are not seen as a human being. Lennie isn’t keeping George behind because he’s strong and makes a good worker. He gets in a lot of problems. Lennie in a way is holding him from having a better life. In the text it states “Lennie said gently, “George… I ain’t got mine. I musta lost it.” He looked down at the ground in despair. “You never had none, you crazy bastard. I got both of ’em here. Think I’d let you carry your own work card?”. Lennie’s mental capability keeps him from even living a normal life he forgets plenty of stuff that happens. Lennie unlike Crooks has George who keeps him company. In the story it clearly shows that men are meant to be alone and everyone is meant to have a person in their life that they can share their daily thoughts.