John Steinbeck was the 1962 Nobel Prize Winner and in his speech he had many connections to one of his famous books, Of Mice and Men. He talked about the hard times that humanity had faced such as the Great Depression, World War 2, Korean war, and Civil Rights movements. In these times humans started to do non human like things to survive. Steinbeck has lived through both the highs and lows of humanity, and the time between the publishment of the book Of Mice and Men to the acceptance of his Nobel Prize, was a miserable and despairing time. His book had many similar themes and connections to hat the outside world was like.
In both Of Mice and Men and his Nobel Prize Speech, Steinbeck describes how life is full of difficult choices and the challenging consequences that come with it, that sometimes life is unfair and power is distributed unevenly, and humans are capable of good and evil. Life is full with difficult decisions and choices and with each difficult decision there could be consequences that come with them. Difficult choices are just obstacles in life and everyone has to make some, but the harder the decision the more likely chance of worse the consequence.
In Of Mice and Men towards he ending of the book, George had to make a crucial decision whether to run away with his best friend Lennie from a angry mob for a second time, but he just decided to end it all and Steinbeck described Lennie’s depressing final moments as, “He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand and he lay without quivering. George shivered and looked at the gun, and then he threw it from him.. ,” (Steinbeck 106). George was miserable but he knew that he had to do it.
This shows that there always pros and cons of ecisions and in this case he lost his best friend but he ended up saving Lennie from being tortured or saved another person that Lennie could have eventually hurt like he has done before. Steinbeck described many aspects of humanity and the world itself; it was stated in his Nobel Prize speech when talking about the lows of humanity that, “dreadful burden of choice,” (Steinbeck). During the Cuban missile crisis many people were in fear because one imperious person had control over millions of people’s lives. He could have made one decision and that one decision could have destroyed countries.
Life can be unfair sometimes because most of the time other people have more power than the outcast, and as a result of this, people are divided into a treacherous social ladder that will determine a person’s job, wealth, and property. In Of Mice and Men there were multiple characters who were not given equal respect because they were seen as different and unable to complete tasks. Steinbeck had one chapter devoted to the outcast and they are Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife. Lennie, Crooks, Curley’s wife, and Candy were seen as lower class people.
Lennie is specially needed, Crooks is an African American, Curley’s wife was a woman, and Candy was old man without a hand. In the old days all of these people would be considered as unequal or not as good as. As Lennie tries to go in Crooks room, Crooks defends his privacy by stating, “Well, I got a right to have a light. You go on get outta my room. I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain’t wanted in my room ,” ( Steinbeck 68 ). Crooks showed indignation about how he is no ever allowed to go in town or be near the others. At this point Crooks is used to not getting respect, so he tries to avert the others at all times and now he lives his life lonely and sad.
In Steinbeck’s speech he described how everyone is defenseless because anyone could strike anyone at anytime, and he explained it as, “The danger and the glory and the choice rest finally in man,”(Steinbeck). Danger are the social classes because anything could happen to the poor because they do not have much control over themselves. No one has any respect for the poor or the outcast because all they care about themselves. Humans can be destructive and evil, but also generous, smart, and creative. In Of Mice and Men Lennie helps George get a job but Lennie is also the cause of them losing their jobs all the ime.
As Steinbeck described when Candy and George finds Curley’s wife dead and figured out that it was Lennie, “Candy lay down in the hay and covered his eyes with his arm,”(Steinbeck 98 ). Even though Lennie helped George and himself find a new job he still is the one who lost their old job in the new place. Candy was so close to getting to his dream, but one mistake from another person ruined it. After Steinbeck described Alfred Nobel, Steinbeck explained in his acceptance speech that, “Man himself has become our greatest hazard and our only hope,” (Steinbeck).
Alfred Nobel For instance wars appen because of mankind, nations fight each other man on man. Death in wars are because of mankind and the fact that compromises couldn’t be made. Even though wars do occur, the world would not be the same as it is today without mankind. One second there is cooperation one second there are world wars. Many themes and connections were incorporated in both Of Mice and Men and John Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech, Steinbeck connects that life is filled with consequences from hard difficult decision making, that power and control is not even distributed and not used fairly, and humans are capable of ood and evil.
All of the themes are applicable today. For an instance countries leaders have hard decisions to make and their decision could affect their whole nation in a positive or negative way. They have to contemplate about it and make sure it is the right one. There is a ton of pressure on them to make the right decision, for as they could be hated on if they make one mistake. Also, in India their is a caste system where the most powerful people have control and make they low class people do all the work they don’t want to. If they do not cooperate they would be injured along with their family.
It is close to slavery, they clean sewers and do not even get enough money to provide for their family. High caste members get to relax and stay recumbent as lower caste people have to do all the work no one wants to do. They are stuck in the system and can not get out of it for the high class people control it, and they do not care for anyone else besides themselves. Finally humans build and create things to help them, but the things they make always find away to be used against as any type of human. They are necessary for life, but can be turned into a destructive weapon and can be used against us.