John Steinbeck Comparitive Essay


In the novels studied, John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pearl’ and ‘Of Mice And Men’, there are various evident similarities and connections. Steinbeck has common themes he attempts to portray, and he strives to make the reader grasp an understanding of these ideas. He also links his novellas with writing devices, literary techniques and other methods that enhance the reader’s experience. Steinbeck’s personal style of writing is clearly defined in both texts, and obvious comparisons are highlighted.

Such an example of this would be the theme of family and friendship that is common to both of the texts. In the story of ‘The Pearl’, Kino clearly shows his love and support of his family: his wife Juana and son Coyotito. He makes great sacrifices and goes to great lengths (for example he vows to go to the city to sell his pearl) to keep them safe and, above all, has their best interests and welfare in mind. This quite is similar to ‘Of Mice And Men’, with George having to alter and deteriorate his own life to suit Lennie. George does this out of his heart and sacrifices the life he could have had, enjoying himself, to care for Lennie, because he is his best friend and the closest thing he has to family.

Another similarity between the two novellas is the use of symbolism to give greater meaning to the tale. ‘The Pearl’ has numerous examples of symbolism, such as the scorpion (symbolising evil and hate), the Songs (which symbolise love, family and evil), Kino’s Canoe (showing the years of effort and labour put in by Kino’s ancestors), and the Pearl itself, which symbolises, at first, wealth and hope and a better future, but in the end represents evil, wrongs and greed. The symbolism in ‘Of Mice And Men’ includes Lennie’s dead mice (which represents his longing for soft objects to touch and pet) and the future life, where Lennie gets to tend the rabbits, which shows that the partners hope for a better future, where they can live...