Toward what specific audience is John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men directed?Does Steinbeck have a specific group of people he targeted when writing Of Mice and Men? And what were the points he was...

Toward what specific audience is John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men directed?

Does Steinbeck have a specific group of people he targeted when writing Of Mice and Men? And what were the points he was trying to get across to the audience?

Asked on by jillkavi

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Of Mice and Men was written by Steinbeck for a wide readership.  Steinbeck's style (use of language) is plain and straightforward so that it can be ready by young adults (teens) and adults alike.  Since it is a novella (a long story or a short novel), Steinbeck also wanted it to be read quickly but thoughtfully.

Obviously, though, it was written first and foremost for Americans in the caught in the throes of the Great Depression, namely the working class whom he championed.  Steinbeck wanted to improve working conditions for the underpriveledged.  The novella has since continued to be read by students in 9th and 10th grade as part of an American literature curriculum investigating the American dream.

Of Mice and Men would seem to be a novella directed primarily at males, since it only has one female character (who is not even named), Curley's wife.  Really, though, the novella is directed against the male-dominated agrarian culture, using it as a metaphor for how capitalism can be used as a top-down power structure in which the male bourgeoisie class (Curley) abuse their power over the proletariat workers (Lenny), blacks (Crooks), and women (Curley's wife)--a kind of Social Darwinism ("survival of the fittest").

Still others can read the novel for its commentary on relationships between men and women and workers and bosses, the validity of the American dream, and even the justification for mercy killing.

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