Universal Theme Connection Project
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck portrays powerlessness through some of the various characters like Lennie, Candy, and Crooks. Lennie is powerless due to his mental disabilities. It is clearly seen throughout the entire novel Lennie is set back by this and it can sometimes render him powerless not in a physically way but in a clear mental way. Candy is powerless in a physical way and that he doesn't have much purpose left in life and he realizes that. Crooks is also powerless in that he is discriminated against because of the color of his skin.
[George] heard Lennie’s whimpering cry and wheeled about. "Blubberin’ like a baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you!" Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes. "Aw, Lennie!" George put his hand on Lennie’s shoulder. "I ain’t takin’ it away jus’ for meanness. That mouse ain’t fresh, Lennie; and besides, you’ve broke it pettin’ it. You get another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a little while." (1.76)
This quote explains how Lennie is clearly powerless despite his size and they portray him as if he were a baby.[Lennie] said gently, "George… I ain’t got mine. I musta lost it." He looked down at the ground in despair."You never had none, you crazy bastard. I got both of ‘em here. Think I’d let you carry your own work card?" Lennie grinned with relief. (1.22-24)
Then this quote shows how lennie is powerless and irresponsible and cannot take care of his own possessions and work card, George has to do it for him.
Another Literary Work
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Life As We Knew it shows powerlessness through the main character, Miranda, in that she cannot control the environment around her when a meteor strikes the moon and causes the environment to change, causing catastrophic casualties. Miranda and her family go through enormous struggles to make “normal” activities even possible since so many objects were unavailable. As the problems continued, the population kept decreasing to the point that people become powerless over every event in their lives, including their deaths as well.
“Here's the funny thing about the world coming to an end. Once it gets going, it doesn't seem to stop.” (pg. 120)
Powerless by Alex Gregg
"How can I explain
The impossibility of your complaint
The way it feels you pray to feel
Yet I pray you never feel this way
But to understand my pain
You would have to become
The thing that I am
You completely despise
And constant lies
I feel so powerless
So weak over drugs
One quick thought
Overpowers your love
With only thoughts of using
Urges that can't be tamed
But your not to blame
Powerless a feeling u pray to know
So u may know my pain
But no man should feel
Such pain that I do
Unless life's path
Has told u too
Out of love
U believe my lies
As bad as I want to be clean
I can't stop getting high"
“‘Why ain’t you wanted?’ Lennie asked. ‘’Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me’” (Page 68 Steinbeck).
This quote is showing how Crooks is powerless because of his skin color and that Lennie wouldn't understand unless he was African American too. While like in the poem it is talking about you don’t understand why a person is powerless unless you have walked a mile their shoes.