Tag Archives: Great Depression

Victims of Self-Delusion in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men: A Lacanian Reading (Published)

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men has focused on the economic conditions of workers of the time whose quest for land were opposed by superior forces of upper-class. With his unique characterization, Steinbeck revealed many facts about characters’ personalities and displayed how each member of different classes was dealing with his or her life at the great depression era. The present article has demonstrated how selected characters in Of Mice and Men were victims of self-delusion by manifesting the individual character’s unconscious motivational sources and has tried to analyze different characters through Lacanian psychoanalysis and the three Lacanian orders. Lennie, in Of Mice and Men was similar to an infant in the imaginary order. Self-delusion regarding the achievement of the Lacanian Real occurred in the symbolic order. Lacan illustrated how the characters were made through the symbolic order and ascertained their search for object petit a by justifying characters’ emotions, dreams and actions. George and Candy would be represented and analyzed through the symbolic order of Lacan. The purpose of this article has been to show how the characters’ search for The American dream (Lacanian Real) gave them life but they never managed to fulfill it. This failure caused them to start facing their displacement in society. Through Lacanian lenses, the characters failed the dream that either literally or figuratively was equivalent to their death. Curley’s wife was a great representative of failure in achieving object petit a. In the present article, she has been fully analyzed in the way she tried to cope with this failure.

Keywords: Great Depression, Imaginary Order, Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Lacanian Real, Symbolic Order, object petit a