Light and Hands as a symbol in Of Mice and Men - WJEC English Literature


(This is only really for if you are aiming for the higher end grades. It can't really be commented on for a whole question but these points are nice to put in somewhere and back up your points)


In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck useshands to give an insight into characters. Migrant worked who worked on ranches were called "ranch hands", so the symbol of hands is very relevant to the time.

Curley = "hands were closed into fists" - he's a violent and aggressive character, not welcoming or accepting of others.

Curley's Wife = "fingernails were red" - the colour red symbolises danger. The red is not natural, she deliberatly painted her nails red. Could be argued that her behaviour is due to society, it's not natural.

George = "small strong hands" - he contrasts to Lennie, his handfs show the strength of character. He needs to be strong to look after Lennie as well as himself.

Lennie = "big paw" - contrasts to Geogr, his animalistic qualities are shown. Like an animal, he is unable to control urges.

Candy = "stump like wrist" - Steinbeck does not focus on the one hand he has, yet the hand he is missing. He is defined by his disablility.

Slim = "large and lean" "as delicate as a temple dancer" - He has natural power without being aggressive. His gentle nature is shown.

Crooks = "in one hand he held a


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