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Connection of Darwins theory to Of Mice and Men

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Chauncey Chiu

on 30 December 2014

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Transcript of Connection of Darwins theory to Of Mice and Men

Connection of Darwins Theory to
Of Mice and Men
Survival of the fittest
The theory of Social Darwinism applies the theory of "survival of the fittest" to humans. And this theory can be based on things such as strength, intelligence, authority, power, and usefulness.
How Darwin's theory applies to Of mice and men.
In the book "Of Mice and Men" Curley has Small Man Syndrome. And this complex has been linked to evolutionary physiology.
Survival of the fittest and how it applies to Of Mice and Men
Darwin's Theory
Small Man Syndrome
In short smaller individuals tend to act more aggressively and create more noise in order to compete for food and mates.
In the Story Curley was aggressive towards people who were big such as Lennie
How social Darwinism applies to Of Mice and Men
During the time some of the workers in the farm are racist and discriminate Crooks.

Racism -
Crooks got his name from his physical description
He is mad and upset that he is not treated equally as the other whites
Quote- “S’pose George don’t come back no more. S’pose he took a powder and just ain’t coming back. What’ll you do then?”
"Sure. Ya see the stable buck's a nigger" (Steinbeck pg. 22)
Since this was the first time he could put down a white man, he became the one in control and was motivated to be crueler.

Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Nature is a "kill-or-be-killed" system when the weak will die off.
Social Darwinism
“He's alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he's mad at 'em because he ain't no big guy” (Steinbeck pg. 26)
"What the hell you laughin' at?" Then Curley's rage exploded. (Steinbeck pg. 70)

Herbert Spencer promoted the idea of Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism was used to apply natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. In social Darwinism there is always competition between people to gain dominance, The theory was used to promote racism and that Europeans are superior.
Candy's dog, when the dog was no good anymore Carlson wanted to get rid of it- Strong removes the weak –
- “Carl's right Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple.” (Steinbeck) pg. 45
More examples of survival of the fittest
Slim kept the biggest dog because they have the best chance of survival and the mother dog can't feed all the smaller dogs
- “Yhea 5, I kept the biggest.” (Steinbeck 35)
Authority and power- The boss had the authority and power in the farm because he had all the financial .and political power since he owned the farm.
When George shoots Lennie to kill him since he is mentally unfit to survive in their environment.
– I want you to stay with me Lennie. Jesus Christ somebody'd shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself.” (Steinbeck 14)
There are connections with Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest from animals to humans. If there are more powerful people there are people with less power. This is how society works for human and animals which is also why the book is called "Of Mice and Men"
In the story the concept of survival of the fittest applies to both men and animals.
In regards to men the boss had the authority in the farm and George and Lennie had to listen to him. In regards to animals Candy's dog and Slim's new born pups are examples.
His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. (Steinbeck pg. 28)
"... No big song-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella." (Steinbeck pg. 70)
In conclusion

Survival of the fittest is a main reoccuring theme of the Story
Of Mice and Men.
Full transcript