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Of Mice and Men: Character Analysis of George and Curley

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Of Mice and Men Essay

Those who succeed in life have a dream, and they know what to do to accomplish their dream. Even though they face problems, they still know what to do. They also maintain good relationships with people. However, those who failed usually do not have any dreams nor good personalities and attitudes. This paper will discuss how George’s and Curley’s characteristics will lead them to success or failure.

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George will succeed in life because he has a goal to fulfill- his dream of owning a farm. Although he does not discuss his dream after Lennie kills Curley’s wife, it does not mean that he has given up. John Steinbeck, the author of Of Mice and Men, says nothing about George giving up his dream. Also, George still has Candy, who helps in achieving George and Lennie’s dream. Candy is similar to Lennie. He is used to following other people and is childlike in his mentality. When he sees Curley’s wife dead, his only concern is whether he will be able to accomplish his goal with George

George is also friendly. His behavior is rough, but no one hates him for it because of his warm heart. For instance, when he arrives at the ranch, George easily becomes friends with Candy, who is already a worker at the ranch. It is important to make friends easily because it helps in the face of hardships.

George faces several crises and overcomes wisely. For instance, He lies that he is Lennie’s cousin when the boss asks about their relationship, and he decides to kill Lennie when Lennie kills Curley’s wife so that Lennie does not need to undergo the pain of being tortured by Curley. His capacity for solving crises may be useful when he later faces other crises. Another reason that George can succeed is that he can continue to work on the ranch because no one, not even Curley, hates him.

George is also used to leading others, like Lennie. That is, he is a leader. He is always telling Lennie what he should do. At the end of first chapter, for example, he tells Lennie to hide in the brush near the river when he gets in trouble. And at the end of third chapter, he tells Lennie to fight back when Lennie is being beaten up by Curley.

Curley, however, will ultimately become a failure. First, he is always suspicious. He is continuously looking for his wife because he suspects of her seeing other men on the ranch. In Chapter Three, for example, he suspects that Slim is with his wife.

A former boxer, Curley also has a violent temper. Because of his inferiority complex on people who are taller than him, he likes use violence on them. The first time he sees the rather tall in Chapter Two Lennie, he almost becomes violent. He eventually does so at the end of Chapter Three. He uses the incident of Lennie killing his wife as an opportunity to lynch Lennie, also in retaliation for his broken hand caused by his attempt to punch Lennie. It indicates that he is also an opportunist

The arrogance of Curley puts him at an even further disadvantage. He is arrogant in front of all the ranch people, except Slim, throughout the book. This is more apparent in the middle part of Chapter Two when he meets George and Lennie and orders Lennie to talk when he is spoken to. In the end, Curley is alone. Although it is not clear that every one in the ranch hates Curley, the reader can easily surmise that the ranch people are not exactly takens to him. This is supported by Candy’s statement to George and Lennie: “Seems to me like he’s worse lately… Seems like Curley is cockier’m ever since he got married.” (p. 30, Steinbeck)

In the end, George is likely to accomplish his dream with Candy’s help. Curley is likely to end up in jail because of his anti-social attitude and hostile mentality. Both are walking down the paths they have chosen, but only one of those paths leads to success. It is clear that George has found the path of success.

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