Essay help for Of Mice and Men:
In a well-developed composition, I need to identify a character that is affected by a single act or mistake. Describe how he is affected and explain how the character`s experience relates to the work as a whole.
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Regarding your topic of a character who has been affected by a single mistake or act, two of the men in Of Mice and Men come to mind: Lennie and Candy. For Lennie, his mistake is the incident at Weed in which Lennie grabs a girl's dress and frightens her enough that she screams and draws the attention of the other workers, causing him and George to have to hide and sneak away from where they have been working. This unfortunate incident haunts George as he is forever anxious about Lennie's impulsive behavior which at any moment can put them in danger of losing their jobs or going to jail. That he worries constantly about Lennie's propensity to get them in trouble is evident throughout the narrative, beginning in Chapter One where they talk by the river, in Chapter Two in which Lennie is enticed by the sight of Curley's wife, and also in this chapter where Curley looks aggressively at Lennie. As determinism would have it in Steinbeck's naturalistic novel, this fear fulfills its promise and Lennie repeats his actions, but this time they have tragic consequences.
Another character whose life is affected by an incident is old Candy. Having lost his hand, Candy can no longer go out into the field and work. Aging threatens him as well, and he worries that if he can no longer be useful, the boss will get rid of him just as his old dog is done away with. In Chapter Three, Candy tells George,
"I got hurt four years ago...They'll can me purty soon. Jus' as soo as I can't swamp out no bunk houses they'll put me on the county."
It is because he is worried about his security that Candy is so eager to join George and Lennie in their plan to buy property of their own where no one can then put them out.