Of Mice and Men and La Strata By comparing Of Mice and Men and La Strata, they both come together to a similar point. Innocent figures are usually represented by nature while the opposite is described with a condescending connotation. Weapons are used to harm things and are able to assert dominance. When asserting dominance, one might say that the dominant being is a male showing masculinity while the one being dominated is classified as being a female showing feminism.
When these two archetypes conjoin, it an be analyzed as innocence is inferior to weapons as weapons can disrupt a balance of nature, which can translate to how weapons and their users are more masculine to innocent figures which can lead to their ultimate doom. Steinbeck and Felling show a common interest in innocent figures and weapons due to the presence of both in their literary work. In Of Mice and Men, Leonie is portrayed as an innocent figure. He is described in a simplistic way and with nature and animal terms.
As Leonie is being described in the beginning of the novel, his walking is described as “the way a bear drags his saws” (Steinbeck 2). Although the bear is known to be scary and dangerous, it can also be a lovable, stuffed teddy bear that a young child would want to play with. On that notation, Leonie is classified as a harmless, lovable man who is dumbstruck and has no intention on harming anybody. However, Lien’s friend, George, is described with the opposite of what Leonie was. He is classified as a man that was “small and quick, dark of face” (Steinbeck 2).
Dark symbolizes evil or bad. So as Leonie is enjoying life, George will indeed know how to mess things up. Steinbeck makes the readers feel affection towards Leonie as he stumbles on throughout the novel. He is also recognized as being child-like. George describes Leonie as either a domesticated dog or a young male child when he says, “Good boy! That’s fine Leonie! ” (Steinbeck 15). Being child-like creates a hidden definition of being dumbfounded and not knowing what’s better or worse. Lien’s strength can get the best of him as he doesn’t know that he has so much of it.
When he murder’s Curlers wife, he only thought that he had hushed her but accidentally killed the woman. This pertains to the idea that Leonie is a child that doesn’t know what he’s doing and is portrayed as innocent but can possibly lead to his tragic fate. Riding along with Sampans, Slaloming is often identified as an innocent figure. She doesn’t do anything bad or harmful to anyone. She is looked down upon all other people, thinking that she is a reckless child. Like in Of Mice and Men, a child is known to be a bit of a hassle and always getting into trouble.
Although, what Slaloming gets in trouble for is the opposite of what normal people get in trouble for. Sampans knishes her for not obeying his orders to steal from the nunnery. This is known to be an innocent figure if one does the right thing but can easily backfire as it will be contrasted with black in the background or around her while she is wearing white. White symbolizes purity, softness, and innocence, thus creating another reason as to why Slaloming is an innocent figure. Her hair is lighter than everybody else in the film which also creates the contrast and the innocence.
However, Sampans is always wearing black or dealt with black around him which makes him a threat to Slaloming. Moreover, Gloaming’s whiteness will soon be struck by Campaigns blackness. In Of Mice and Men and La Strata, Leonie and Slaloming are parallel characters that are classified as innocent figures. George speaks out to Leonie as if he was a small child and Sampans treats Slaloming like a child that is out of line. Leonie and Slaloming both act like they could be five years old and readers wouldn’t know the difference. They both act like they don’t know any better and think everything is all fine and dandy.
Their partners are similarly the exact opposites of Leonie and Slaloming. Both of them can be recognized as two individuals that involve nature and light, which can be analyzed to become a symbol of innocence. Moreover, George and Sampans drastically contrast with the innocent figures as they are portrayed as evil and bad. George was described with a dark face and Sampans was always dressed in black or shot in front of a black background. George and Sampans are identified as threats towards Leonie and Slaloming as they are the opposites of them. Weapons are used to keep Leonie from doing anything bad.
George uses the gun o show his masculinity and uses it to kill Leonie. George asserts his dominance when, “the muzzle of it close to the back of Lien’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. ” (Steinbeck 106). Before this had happened, Leonie stole the gun and ran off so he wouldn’t be harmed. This foreshadows as to how Leonie dies in the end and is ironic because he thought he wouldn’t be harmed by the gun but he was killed by the gun without him even knowing it. Male dominance is used to impress other males as it was in the wild.
George kills Leonie because he wants to get rid of useless things and to impress all the guys back at the farm. Sampans uses different kinds of weapons to punish Slaloming or keep her in line. When Sampans was teaching Slaloming a circus act, she would do something wrong and Sampans would whip her with a piece of straw that came out of the fields. Although Sampans had technically paid for Slaloming, he is still asserting his dominance with the act of aggression towards her. When Slaloming disobeys Sampans as he attempts to take from the nuns, she is again beaten as an act of rebellion.