A few characters that strive for power in this novella are Crooks, George, and Curley. The time of the great depression affected humans, by making some strive for power, to possibly result in more land and most importantly more money. First is a man named Crooks, a black man who values simple rights and power as much as striking gold, but in the ages of black discrimination and the great depression, unfortunately for Crooks, these two things don’t collaborate as well as other things do. Also known as Stable Buck, Crooks desire of power has been shot down so much that he has start to feel depressed, but still somehow he gains enough bitterness from isolation, to lash out and have a strong sense of urgency. Lennie and Crooks are having a meaningful conversation when Crooks says, “‘S’pose you didn’t have nobody.
S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ‘cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit here and’ read books”’ (72). Crooks tells this to Lennie because he really feels a desire to be able to be like everyone else, and having the strong but quite simple power of having rights, sounds like heaven to crooks. Crooks would die just to hang out with the men and play card games, but not yet has he been treated other than an animal when in thought of human rights. Crooks knows he’s far away from these luxuries but he won’t give up his urgency and hatred to not having any power. Crooks finds this urgency in another conversation and this happens to be with Curley’s wife who is a prostitute.
Crooks gets very annoyed with Curley’s wife because she is trying hard to flirt with men especially Lennie. Crooks blurts out, “You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you just get out, and get out quick”(80 ). Even though Crooks knows what Curley’s wife can do, which consists of hanging him, he stands up for himself with his strong sense of urgency, showing how much he wants some sort of power. Crooks is just one man out of the many that has an urge for power, but yet Crooks’s could be argued to have the most strong desire out all of the characters. Nextly is Curley, a small but handy and aggressive man who has a different sense of urgency for power, consisting of hating mediocrity in terms of being the inferior man in the situation. Right away when Curley meets George and Lennie, who are applying for the ranch job, Curley tries to assert his dominance over the bigger man. After George tells Curley that they are in fact the new guys right away Curley says “Let the big man talk”(25). Curley wants Lennie to see him as a man that is way bigger than him, leaving an impression on Lennie of simply that Curley wants to be way more superior than Lennie. He calls Lennie out because there is a sense that Curley is afraid of being taken over in terms of power, because of size and strength. Another time Curley was striving for seniority was later in the novella, again against Lennie. Curley was being made fun of and Lennie had a smile on his face that made Curley very mad, because the man that he was trying to gain power over, was laughing as it seemed at insults that were being thrown at him. Curley had enough and said “No big son of a bitch is gonna laugh at me. I’ll show you who’s yella”(62). Curley is taking his urge for power to a different level by not using words to intimidate Lennie, but rather physical violence. “Curley hides his insecurities behind a mask of macho toughness. His competitive bravado makes him push too far” (Scarseth 2). A man who is half the size of a swole beast, does not whatsoever back down in any sense in terms of losing his confidence in winning power over Lennie.
Finally George, a small man with strong hands has a dream for land in the time of the great depression, and land in this time is considered having power. George from the very beginning of the novella, even before they go to their job, tells Lennie he can’t talk at all when they see the boss and others. After George keeps hearing promising remarks by Lennie he says “Good boy! That’s fine, Lennie! Maybe you’re getting better. When we get the coupla acres I can let you tend the rabbits all right. Especially if you remember as good as that”(14). George has the strong dream of getting power, which is becoming in possession of a large amount of land. To achieve his dream George believes that if Lennie becomes a follower and does almost exactly what he says than George and Lennie could achieve their dream of having the large amounts of land giving them a lot of valuable power. Another example that clearly explains George’s desire for land and power, is when they get Candy on board to add money to their dream, making the dream seem much more realistic. Lennie asks George when they are going to go get the land and George says “In one month. Right squawk in one month. Know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna write to them old people that owns the place that we’ll take it”(61). George is overly excited, determined, and desperate for this increase in power and land. Desperate enough to make the dream come true very quickly and very soon. George’s life is depending on the dream of having new land, with his great friends.
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