In Of Mice and Men, what is the "hunger that moves all men"? In which 3 characters do you see this?A review from The Atlantic reads, You feel the affection that binds George and Lennie together....

In Of Mice and Men, what is the "hunger that moves all men"? In which 3 characters do you see this?

A review from The Atlantic reads, You feel the affection that binds George and Lennie together. You hear talk as natural as grass. You recognize in them a hunger that moves all men"

What is the "hunger that moves all men"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The character of Crooks in John Steinbeck's novella, Of Mice and Men, epitomizes this "hunger that moves all men."  For, not only is he dispossessed like the other itinerant workers on the ranch, but he is totally isolated from any human contact because of his color in a racially biased environment.  When the naive Lennie enters the stable and talks to Crooks despite Crooks's having "retired into the prtective dignity of the Negro," Crooks realizes that Lennie is child-like and does not understand racial prejudice.  Starving for companionship, besides, he speaks to Lennie, albeit cruelly at first out of his own vulnerability.  Expressing the hunger to be among the fraternity of man, Crooks asks Lennie,

"You got George.  You know he's goin' to come back.  S'pose you didn't have nobody.  S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you was black.  how'd you like that?  S'pose you had to sit out here an' read books.  Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books.  Books ain't no good.  A guy needs somebody--to be near him....A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.  Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you.....I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick....A guy sets alone out here at night....Sometimes he gets thinkin', an' he got nothing to tell him what's so an' what ain't so.  maybe if he sees somethin', he don't know whether it's right or not.  He can't turn to some other guy and st him if he sees it, too.  He can't tell.  He got nothing to measure by."

Every man needs someone by whom he can measure himself and with whom he can feel worthy.  This need is his "hunger."  Similarly, he hungers to own some place of his own, for ownership provides a sense of worth, as well, and it provides a man with security.  This need for security is in the core of man. It is the dream/prayer that George and Lennie have which keeps them going; it is the dream of George and Lennie that attracts Candy and Crooks with its lure of security.

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