Title

Of Love and Lonesomeness

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

As one of America’s great authors, John Steinbeck provided readers with an astute perspective on the many joys and sorrows of American life during the early 20th century. By creating stories whose plots are built around colorful and often eccentric characters rather than a great deal of action, Steinbeck is able to focus on the nature of his characters and the ways in which they interact with each other. While these interactions move the plot forward, readers gain insight into Steinbeck’s observations of human nature and the needs and desires that work to motivate the individual, influencing the way that he or she interacts with others.

For this project, I chose to explore the romantic and sexual relationships that are created in a couple of these works. After reading Of Mice and Men and Sweet Thursday, I will use Sigmund Freud’s theories on sex and sexuality to interpret the way that the main characters, specifically Lennie and Doc, feel about the relationships in which they participate, whether willingly or unwillingly. The two relationships in these works are defined by the same basic human needs, but the stories conclude very differently; I hope to gain an understanding of the reasons for these differences by applying Freudian principles to a character analysis of Doc and Lennie. I expect this analysis to shed a new light on two popular works and provide readers with a more comprehensive understanding of Steinbeck’s characters and the complex relationships that define them.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 11th, 4:20 PM Apr 11th, 4:40 PM

Of Love and Lonesomeness

As one of America’s great authors, John Steinbeck provided readers with an astute perspective on the many joys and sorrows of American life during the early 20th century. By creating stories whose plots are built around colorful and often eccentric characters rather than a great deal of action, Steinbeck is able to focus on the nature of his characters and the ways in which they interact with each other. While these interactions move the plot forward, readers gain insight into Steinbeck’s observations of human nature and the needs and desires that work to motivate the individual, influencing the way that he or she interacts with others.

For this project, I chose to explore the romantic and sexual relationships that are created in a couple of these works. After reading Of Mice and Men and Sweet Thursday, I will use Sigmund Freud’s theories on sex and sexuality to interpret the way that the main characters, specifically Lennie and Doc, feel about the relationships in which they participate, whether willingly or unwillingly. The two relationships in these works are defined by the same basic human needs, but the stories conclude very differently; I hope to gain an understanding of the reasons for these differences by applying Freudian principles to a character analysis of Doc and Lennie. I expect this analysis to shed a new light on two popular works and provide readers with a more comprehensive understanding of Steinbeck’s characters and the complex relationships that define them.