Of Mice

It has been said, "… a tale of human frailty and sorrow.” In literary works the focus is often put on the wicked side of human character rather than its more pleasant aspects. This is proven true repeatedly throughout literature, specifically in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, and in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. In each of these works, disturbing events portray that humans are capable of many forms of evil.

In The Scarlett Letter, a plane crash leaves young boys from England stranded on a desert island. At first, the boys make rules, elect a leader, and designate duties, such as tending the signal fire. As time goes on, however, they are seen slipping further from their morals and civilization into primitive and brutal behavior. The story "opens a dark window" on the souls of the boys - and all humans, showing the reader their foul traits. There is frequent mention of a "beast" on the island; most of the boys believe that is it a monster that is hunting them. Simon and Piggy, two boys who represent goodness and wisdom, realize that the beast does not exist in the way the others believe. The beast is, in reality, the awful, evil nature inside each person that makes them capable of wicked deeds. There is also much religious symbolism in the novel. Simon often functions as a Christ figure because he is kind to the young children, helpful, and attuned to nature. He meets his end being violently murdered by the ones he was trying to share knowledge with. Piggy is also murdered, while trying to reason with the other boys. Goodness on the island is overpowered by the evil that materialized once the boys were free from the constraints of their society.

King Creon is the tragic hero of Sophocles's play, and a vehicle for exposing the adverse side of man. Creon is proud, hypocritical, and stubborn. He was so proud that he placed his own law above that of the Greek gods, ordering that his nephew not allowed to be buried. Creon claims his belief to be...