John Steinbeck Outline
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As demonstrated in four of Steinbeck's works, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, “The Chrysanthemums”, and “The Leader of the People”, his characters' dreams and aspirations fail as forces beyond their control work to constrain them.
ii. Of Mice and Men
a. George and Lennie are opposites; George is smart, Lennie is extremely strong.
b. George tries to keep Lennie, who is mentally disabled, under supervision at all times
c. Lennie doesn't recognize his strength.
d. “ “Don't you go yellin' ”, he said and he shook her and her body flopped like a fish... she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck... “I didn't want to hurt you... I done another bad thing.” ”
e. George must kill Lennie, resulting in death of best friend, as well as their dream.
f. “Of Mice and Men has also been perceived as the embodiment of a non-teleological philosophy according to which events are beyond humakind's comprehension and control; despite the efforts of George and Lennie their plans fail...”
g. Despite all his efforts George could never totally control Lennie, and as a result, their dream fails.
iii. The Pearl
a. Kino finds the “...greatest pearl in the world.”
b. Ugly side of humanity brought out of humans in presence of pearl, in forms of greed, ambition and violence.
c. “Every man suddenly became related to Kino's pearl... and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino... he became curiously every man's enemy.”
d. Kino expected so much from the pearl, but then is crushed when pearl buyers reveal to him it is worth next to nothing.
e. No one, not even Kino, can control their inner evil.
f. Kino realizes pearl has ruined his and his family's life, and tosses it back into the ocean.
g. Kino was blinded by his unexpected wealth, and couldn't subdue his demons, much less those of others; his dream could never triumph.
iv. “The Chrysanthemums”
a. Elisa Allen, a woman, isolated in a man's world, tries to hide her femininity to attain equality.