Sow how the personalities of the principal characters have affected their relationships and the power they have been able to exert in those relationships. In society, the identity/personality of people often affects their relationships and the power they have within those relationships. The issue of power varies considerably in law and moral values, and the amount of power obtained varies in accordance to the position of whom in the relationship it is held.
It is then dependent on the personality of the person as whether the power is exerted or not, and if so how it is done. Through the novels Of Mice and Men and My Brother, Jack parallels can be drawn between principle characters in reference to their personalities and how this affects their relationships and the power they have been able to exert in those relationships. There are many similarities between the characters of both novels such as George and Lennie with Jack and Davy, Curly and his wife with Jack Senior and Min, also the relationship that Curly and Davy had with those in the workforce and the power they exerted through that. From these examples, you will discover the effect of power one has through their personalities and the relationships they have. In Of Mice and Men the two main characters, George and Lennie, have a very close relationship. George and Lennie were best friends and went everywhere together, always looking after each other.
George was a character with leadership skills, he was the one who provided for the two, and this was mainly due to the fact he was the brains out of the pair. He was responsible, alert, and very smart, and it was because of these factors that made him a very cunning sort of person. In their friendship George was the parental figure to Lennie as it is demonstrated in the following quote: George undid his bundle and bought out three cans of beans. He stood them about the fire, close in against the blaze, but not quite touching the flame(Page 11)Here George cooks tea for Lennie, just like a parental figure. Through the portrayal of a parental figure, George had power over Lennie. Lennie looked upto George and as a result he would do what George told him.
George used his power over Lennie to control him, controlling what he said and did. This control was used to Georges advantage as it was through his power over Lennie that George was able to find work, with only main concern for himself. Despite all that George was, Lennie also had power in their relationship. Lennie can be described as being dumb, irresponsible, of childhood innocence, hopeful, dependent on George, and physically very strong. His power in the relationship, surprisingly, did not lie in his physical strength, it lay in his ability to manipulate George through his characteristic of child-like innocence.
Lenniespower was emotional power, and he used it to manipulate George into having pity for him by way of guilt. Cause I can jus as well go away, George, an live in a cave (page 17)As Lennie was dumb, his physical power was not used properly to his best advantage. Lennie only used his physical power to protect George and himself, and it was even at these times that he used it on command from George. The relationship George and Lennie had was very similar to that of Jack and Davey. Though George and Lennie were not brothers like Jack and Davy, they had a brotherly relationship between them. In My Brother Jack-Jack and Davyshared a brotherly relationship.
It wasnt one that was not overly close but it was one where the younger brother looked up to the older one when they were young. Though as time went on and they grew into adults with their own families the position each of them held swapped, having the older brother looking up tothe younger one as situations changed. Jack was a very loud person, who was very confident in himself for the first half of the book. He was straight forward-never beating around the bush, humorous, bold/brave, strong-willed, very loyal, and open.
From these traits, Jack became a very popular boy in his childhood, something Davy was not, making him want to be even more like his older brother. This strong influence was very powerful in the relationship between the two brothers, so powerful that Davy wanted to prove he could be just as good- if not better than his big brother. Such a feeling, as this, led Davy to beat up a”special” child. I hit him and hit him and hit him until his face was covered with blood I saw Jack approaching. I looked across for his approbation, but hi face was hard set. (page 45-46)Davy, in comparison to Jack, was quite the opposite.
Davy was quiet, was devious, had selfish motives, lacked in loyalty, and was a follower with no real goals or opinions- similar to Lennie only much smarter and alert. Davy was easily manipulated, which is particularly demonstrated through his relationship with Helen. Helen told Davy what to do, how to run his life etc, and Davy chose not to do anything about it. Again in this relationship, Davy is the follower,but he remains powerless in this relationship throughout the novel where it isnot the case in the relationship between Jack and Davy.
When the two brothers became adults Davy became the more popular one out of the two. It was through Davy’s work that he was able to achieve public recognition and hence popularity, whereas Jack had become more than a husband with a family to support. Jack now looked up to Davy and all his success, which led him to later live his life through Davy. he had invested all his brave pride and passion and purpose in me.
I had become his vicarious adventure (Page 365)Davy, and what he had become now had power over Jacks life. Davy had obtained this power over Jacks life intentionally, it wasn’t until toward the end that Davy realised the impact he had on his brother, and the same canalso be said for Jack when he and Davy were young. The relationships above are ones of friendship and kinsman, both of which are common in both novels. Another type of relationship commonly found in both novels is the relationship between husband and wife.
In Of Mice and MenCurly and their wife had a very unstable marriage. It lacked communication, love and respect. Curly was manipulative, intimidating, ignorant and very insensitive. All of these characteristics were taken into the marriage, and affected his wifewho was a very lonely young woman with dreams and the need to be loved. She was also very devious and was not the least bit stupid. It is obvious to say thatCurly had power over his wife in their marriage as she never once attempted to leave Curly this could be due to the fact that she was married to a man with ahouse, a great job and money.
Possessions like this added to the power Curly had over her. The only type of power Curlys wife had, which is recognised through the text, is power over Curlys mind. Curlys wife often would wander off and flirt with the male workers on the ranch, and being the beautiful woman thatshe was, men would take notice. The thought of this scared Curly and would often stress him out, resulting in him constantly looking for her. You seen a girl around here? he demanded angrily.
(Page 39)In the novel My Brother Jack the marriage relationship between JackSenior and Minhas similarities to that of Curly and his wife. These similarities only cover the fact that the husband is the most dominant and powerful in the relationships and that their personalities of them are also very much the same. Jack Senior had the same characteristics as Curly, he was a chauvinist, authoritative, self-centered, insensitive, and unsociable. He had physical power over his children also which is seen when he beat Jack and Davy. A lot of Jack’s Seniors traits are responsible for his power and the difficult marriage. Min, his wife, was a very loving, family-orientated, self-sacrificing person- the complete opposite to her husband.
She loved Jack Senior very much and that is why she stayed with him, she probably couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him to fend for himself. Min didn’t have much power, and the power that she did possess was used not for her own benefit but for the benefit of others. Min was a very reserved person. Over time she had found a way to neutralize herself from the power Jack senior had over her so that she felt safe and protected. Dad was powerless to hurt or intimidate or frighten her (Page 216)In both novels there was at least one character that through their personalities, and relationships with those in the workforce, they were able to exert power. The characters I am referring to are Curly, Of Mice and Men, and Davy, My Brother Jack.
Both these characters, through their personalities, in some way abused or took advantage of the power they had in their relationships with fellow workers. The workers did not respect Curly, having his personality already been described above. He only had power over weak people that could notstand up for themself. Using the tool of manipulation he would get his own way.
Curly loved to control people and it was these factors that were the main reason why Curlys relationship with the other workers was not well established, he never allowed himself to be brought to their standard. Davy had similar characteristics but wasn’t as controlling. Davy kept to himself and done his job, though when he went overseas Davy used his friends. Again here it was in his personality to be lazy and use others. A lot of what Davy wrote about wasn’t written at first hand, he gathered information from those who had been in the incident or at it when it occurred.
He took the information, wrote it up and put his name on it. It was very deceiving as it led people to believe that he was there in the action when he wasn’t. Davy obtains power through the recognition of his pieces of work, and from the fame that came with it. This fame was not gained fairly; the same too for the power Curly had because he gained his through his father being the head boss of the ranch. Clearly from the personalities of the principle characters from the novels Of Mice and Men and My Brother Jack their relationships and thepower they exerted from those relationships were affected in one way or another.
Through the relationships of brothers to husband and wife to work colleges, the personality of a person will determine the types of relationships they will have and the power they will exert within them, whether it be for beneficiary reasons or not. What type of relationships do you have, based on your personality?