Discuss how steinbeck is sympathetic and dispassionate about life through the presentation of realism and naturalism.It's a paragraph question.

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mvmaurno eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Realism and naturalism run rampant throughout Of Mice and Men.  The characterization of George, Lennie, Curley's Wife, Slim, Curley, etc. exemplify realism as they are ordinary people with human flaws in a very believable situation for the time period of the novel. The diction reflects the lower-class, mostly uneducated nature of the population at the ranch.  Steinbeck emphasizes character development rather than a complicated plot.

As far as naturalism, the main premise is how characters are controlled by the forces of nature.  Nature may be defined as the climatic conditions, which often take a nose dive when a tragic even is about to occur.  Human nature also plays a role as Lennie in George are rejected by socity due to Lennie's disabilities, causing them to not have a real "home" anywhere.

Steinbeck evokes our sympathy through these literary techniques, which exemplify the futile nature of Lennie and George's dream to own their own land even though it is a dream to which they should be entitled because of their hard work and strong friendship. By the same token, he has an overall "dispassionate" tone, in reporting events such as the shooting of Candy's dog and, eventually, Lennie himself. 

reemhassan | Student
  • NATURALSIM - like lennie nature controls him, lennie diailites caused him to get into trouble, and at the same time controlled george becuause george knows that he cant leave lennie behind, what he does to get them introuble, is nature takeing over the powerlessw. for example; when they both got kicked out of weed. george belives he could live so well without lennie.