Of Mice and Men

Power and Impairment: Comparing "Johnny Bear" and Of Mice and Men 10th Grade

John Steinbeck incorporates disabilities within his stories with characters like Johnny Bear and Lennie Small from his works and “Johnny Bear” Of Mice and Men. Lennie from Of Mice and Men is a mentally handicapped giant of a man who has the very simple life goal of having a rabbit farm. Johnny, much like Lennie has a mental inadequacy. Unlike Lennie, Johnny has other goals, ambitions, and means to get them. However when both use their power without restraint or reason it ultimately leads to their demise. Steinbeck makes disabilities into a conflict between characters in his works “Johnny Bear” and Of Mice and Men.

Steinbeck incorporates the character Johnny, the main conflict in the short story “Johnny Bear,” who has a disability that makes him not intelligent; however, he applies his one major skill to achieve what he wants in life. The narration describes Johnny Bear is as not “[having] brains enough to make anything up”(“Johnny Bear” 105), and thus characterizes him as not having much intelligence but relying on his natural skill to go through day to day life. Johnny is also described as being “like an animal” (“Johnny Bear” 107) which displays him going off of instinct instead of intelligence. Johnny compensates for his...

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