The metaphor behind the missing hand
In Of Rats and Males by David Steinbeck, the characters’ hands represent all of that is incorrect with the guys and their society. Lennie’s paws, Candy’s absent hand, and Curley’s gloved limb, the characters’ pathology reveals itself in ways which have been more informing that any written information could offer.
From the moment of his first physical appearance, the metaphors that Steinbeck uses to spell out Lennie evaluate him to the animal. He drags “his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” (2). Lennie has hands, but this individual doesn’t rely on them, choosing rather to drink through the water in the clearing “like a horse” (3). If he does dip a side into the normal water, it is to shake his fingers so that the water splashes (3). None with this is particularly noteworthy until George takes his own turn to drink with the pool. In contrast to Lennie, George uses his hands to cup some water and “drink with speedy scoops” (3). Lennie ignores the use of his hands, giving up the role of man to act more like an animal. Steinbeck uses this kind of disuse with the human side to characterize Lennie as something lower than human.
He continues this thought with the different denizens in the ranch. When Candy initial guides Lennie and George to their new quarters in the bunkhouse, Steinbeck directs the reader’s focus on his operate clothing and the broom that he provides in his left (18). This is a preliminary, however , towards the revelation that Candy is missing his right hands. When he factors with his correct arm, what emerges coming from his sleeve is a “round stick-like wrist, but zero hand” (18).
Steinbeck cell phone calls further awareness of the missing limb if he describes Candy’s movement in order to take the may that George hands him: “The aged swamper moved his broom and kept it between his knee and his side while this individual held away his hands for the can” (18). Candy’s missing hand is the most important detail about the man, one that Steinbeck repeatedly emphasizes in his explanations of the person. This acts to define Candy as a man who is not complete, both literally and figuratively. Candy is missing a hand, yet he is likewise missing your life. He does not have any relatives (59), and his give to buy in to the ranch with George and Lennie can be evidence of his loneliness. Candies has money in the bank, but he has nothing to spend that on, with out one to talk about it with. His missing hand can be symbolic of most that he’s missing is obviously. He is eager to reach out to somebody, but , as luck would have it, he cannot connect with these around him.
This idea continues to information of Curley, evident even before George and Lennie meet him initially. Candy explains Curley because “handy, ” someone who is “done quite a bit in the ring” (26). Steinbeck also includes the detail relating to Curley’s left hand, the one that the new husband is “keepin’¦soft pertaining to his wife” (27). Much like Lennie and Candy, Steinbeck characterizes Curley almost exclusively in terms of his hands, especially in the way that he uses them to generate conflict with others. Curley boxes along with his hands, although he might think about the Vaseline on one hand as the tag of a mate, he uses that intended love for his wife as a reason to harm others.
This kind of pathology in the missing hands allows the writer to comment upon society as well. Unichip are lacking hands because something provides taken these people away. Through society’s misconception of Lennie’s mental condition, it has taken out his humankind. Candy provides lost his hand in a work-related incident, and his position seems a sign of an aging population that has no one to manage them, and no means of self-employed living. Curley has was a victim of a twisted ideal of what a gentleman should be, misplaced in society’s requirement for him to strongly assert his masculinity each and every opportunity. In characterizing unichip, Steinbeck can be sounding a warning about the dangers of treating people as simply parts of themselves, rather than considering the whole.
Steinbeck characterizes a team of men who also are every missing some thing important. The hand that each man is lacking in means more than just a physical flaw. Instead, these kinds of literal and figurative lacking limbs illustrate the in a number of emotional distance, even when what each of them wants is a connection to someone or something. Each of these men is definitely missing a hand in a way, and lacking a connection to other individuals that could have already been their salvation.