John Steinbeck once said:
“It has always seemed strange to me…the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding, and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism, and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.”
After reading and viewing “Of Mice and Men,” explore this quote by choosing a character from the novel who displays the characteristics of “weakness” in the quote above and show contrast between that character and a character who shows qualities of “success” in the quote above. What makes these characters weak or successful? How do other characters in the novel view these characters and do they admire the qualities and produce of these characters?
Suggested outline for the paper: Thesis: Your first sentence should name the novel and author. In addition to giving basic background information about the story, you need to re-state the quote and explain how Of Mice and Men has characters that illustrate Steinbeck’s point.
Paragraph one: Choose one character from the story who represents a character with the qualities of failure. Give relevant information from the story to show this character possesses the qualities in the quote. Use a direct quote from the play and cite the page number if you can.
Paragraph two: Choose another character from the story who demonstrates the qualities of success. Be sure to develop this paragraph with lots of text evidence as well. Use a direct quote here too.
Conclusion: This short paragraph should tie the paper together be re-stating the main points and leaving the impression of a proven thesis with the reader. You can talk about the last sentence in the quote and use the men on the ranch as an example of the “people” who admire the qualities of the first, but the produce of the second.