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and racism that were once rampant in this country. In the short span of 118 pages, John Steinbeck paints a harsh painting of America's dark side during the Great Depression. Some readers complain about the unequal treatment of blacks and women in this story. I believe that in this portrayal, Steinbeck excellently and unforgivably captures the ugly truths of America's overtly patriarchal and racist society during this period. Yet Steinbeck's main concern is in encapsulating the common, pounding drive of people to fulfill their hearts' ultimate desires. I am always amazed at the mastery of words that Steinbeck displays in his works, and this piece does not disappoint. It realistically captures the ranch worker's dialect. The vivid descriptions of nature are the very definition of imagery itself. "The sycamore trees turned up their silver sides, the brown, dry leaves on the ground scudded a few feet. And row on row of tiny wind waves flowed up the pool's green surface." p. 109 Almost all of the characters presented serve to communicate an underlying message which so many people have experienced and can relate to. I found myself swelling with a multitude of emotions at how alike some of these people's feelings and problems were to those of many I know, not withholding myself. From the despicable, pathetic Curly, and the dogged and isolated Crooks, to the despairingly dreaming "wife", and most of all the pitiful, clueless Lenny, every actor is so authentically fleshed out that the reader can't help but envelop themselves in their world. This simple yet hard-hitting tale deserves a spot on anyone's bookshelf. Highly recommended.

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