Power In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Speech is Power Some people are born with power; others have to earn their power. Some people use their power for good such as Bill Gates, who has loads of money, but uses it to run charity events. Other people use their power for bad, such as Jim Yong Kim, who uses his power to dictate his country. John Steinbeck portrays the theme of power versus powerless in his novel Of Mice and Men using speech and silence. Those who are speaking tend to hold the power, and those who are silent are often the powerless people. George and Lennie may seem to have a good relationship with each other, traveling together, working together, and taking care of each other. There are a few things that the reader may wonder about; does George threaten to leave…show more content…
Curley, being his scrappy self, decided to start a fight with Lennie, and the outcome did not go as he planned. Lennie crushed his hand. Now Curley doesn’t want everyone to know that he lost a fight, and George, Lennie, and Slim doesn’t want the boss to find out that Lennie hurt his son. Slim kneels down beside Curley and says “I think you got your han’ caught in a machine. If you don’t tell nobody what happened, we ain’t going to. But you jus’ tell an’ try to get this guy canned and we’ll tell ever’ body, an’ then will you get the laugh.” (Steinbeck 64) Slim knows that Curley really doesn’t want anyone to know he lost a fight, let alone he lost it to the mentally disabled man. So Slim uses his knowledge of the situation to threaten Curley so that he could protect his, Lennie and George’s job. Curley now feels obligated to listen to Slim because it would ruin his reputation of being the tough guy if anyone ever found out the real story about his hand injury. Once again in the novel, Steinbeck has given the power to a character such as Slim using speech. Curley is left powerless because he knows that if word is out about the fight, Slim will spill the beans about his hand and ruin his tough guy
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