Intelligence Essay

931 words - 4 pages

The Californian laborers in Of Mice and Men must be physically fit to work their demanding jobs, but it takes more than a meaty machine to reach that monthly pay. Intelligence is a critical key to survive the world these workers live in. John Steinbeck comprises a variety of variously intellectual men among the bunch in Soledad, only some being able to avoid trouble. Maybe the clever worker isn’t the hefty guy who is first to get the job, but he’s surely the one that keep it. Problems are prone to occur and when they do, a man must rely on his knowledge to resolve the situation. This includes dealing with a woman like Curley’s wife, saving a friend, or knowing his place in society. Steinbeck addresses the necessity of intelligence to survive, through George, Slim, Crooks, and Lennie.
It is George’s ability to quickly problem solve that saves Lennie’s life. Precedent to their job in Soledad, Lennie causes problems for both of them when he reaches out to touch a girl’s dress and refuses to let go. As all the men of the town hunts for Lennie’s head, George is able to get them to safety by “’hid[ing] in an irrigation ditch all day’” and “’sneak[ing] out in the dark’” (11). With George’s intelligence, he conjures a plan that enables their safety. He doesn’t tell Lennie to run for it and hope for the best; rather, they avoid from being found by seeking shelter in a place no one would look. By leaving at night, they’re less likely to be seen and can escape to a new town with a fresh start. The plan works successfully because of George’s critical thinking while in a desperate situation. He saved Lennie from jail time that he couldn’t have survived without George. Having that knowledge on how to solve problems served as a necessary trait to have in order to avoid punishment.
For the Soledad’s workers, Curley’s wife walks around the farm stirring up problems, but Slim deals with her at ease. She constantly looks for attention which is exactly what Slim provides when greeting her with the compliment “’Good-lookin.’” Rather than pursuing conversation, Curley’s wife feels “apprehensive” and leaves the boys alone (31). The approach that Slim takes enables a quick exchange of contact. It changes Curley’s wife’s feelings towards talking to him, so she leaves him alone. He, like George, problem-solves using his intelligence to avoid possible conflict by talking to the wife of another man, more importantly, his boss’s son. As his boss’s daughter-in-law, she could easily have lost Slim his job if he pursued his and her friendship then made a...

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