In the novel Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck illustrates the possibilities that life has and its effects on Lennie, Crooks and George. It shows a view of two outsiders struggling to understand their own unique places in the world. Steinbeck suggests humans have the natural potential to seek happiness although the potential can be fatal or harmful.
Although Lennie does not have the potential to be smart, Lennie has the potential to be a hard worker. However, Lennie’s strength did not work with him and the result was fatal. Lennie is an extremely large man who had the strength of a bull. With the use of his strength, he was great worker but did not understand how strong he was. George explains Lennie’s strength by “that big bastard can put up more grain alone than most pairs can”. Through his size and his enormous amount of strength Lennie could out work the other men of the ranch by himself. Through the use of Lennie’s strength he became a great worker who knew nothing more than to work. Lennie uses his abilities to work hard, but does not understand how strong he is.
Without George, Lennie does not understand what to do. Lennie gets frightened and uses his strength to hold on to objects. Lennie is just like a child. He will do what ever George tells him to: “Curley was flopping like a fish on a line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s hand. George slapped Lennie in the face again and again and still Lennie held on. Through Lennie’s actions we can see that Lennie is very similar to a child. Lennie’s first instinct when he is scared is to hold on. Just as a little kid holds on to its mum or dad when they become frightened, Lennie holds on to objects.
As of Lennie’s low intelligence to understand his strength, he becomes frightened and kills Curley’s wife and as a result, she ends up being killed : “She took Lennie’s hand and put it on her head And then she cried angrily. Lennie’s fingers closed on her hair and hung on. He shook her and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still”. Lennie did not understand his strength and became frightened, and once again just like just like a little child he held on. But he ended up breaking Curley’s wife neck. As a result of his actions Lennie ended up dead. Lennie had an extremely great ability to use his strength and become a great worker. However his difficulty to understand his strength lead to his death.
Unlike Lennie, Crooks potential is his knowledge, and Crooks has the ability to use his knowledge to try to escape the problems he has on the ranch. However Crooks falls back into a 1930s attitude and chooses to neglect his knowledge. Crooks also uses his knowledge to express his ideas and feelings to Lennie. “Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody to be near him A guy goes nuts if ain’t got nobody”. Crooks is proving that he is a very knowledgeable man. When around others he may choose to use his knowledge to express his ideas and become a stronger influence.
Crooks uses his wisdom to express his ideas and feelings and leave a very strong impact. Crooks has the likelihood to use his knowledge, but how he uses his wisdom will determine his fate. ‘”I said s’pose George don’t come back no more. S’pose he took a powder and just ain’t coming back. What’ll you do then?’ ‘He won’t do it’ Lennie cried. ‘He’ll come back tonight’—”. Crooks is using his knowledge as a power trip on Lennie who does not understand what Crooks is saying. Crooks is doing this because he has never had a chance to use his knowledge in such way before, but is really abusing it.
Crooks chooses to use his knowledge around Lennie. But when a higher authority is around Crooks chooses to ignore it for his own safety. ‘”Listen nigger’, Curley’s wife said, you know what I can do to you if you open your trap?’ Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed himself against the wall. ‘Yes ma’am’,