Both of them sound similar, but power is ability to control people and strength is ability to do difficult things or handle the difficult situations. We can have strength without people, but we cannot be able to get power. Power requires other people to be around, because if there are no other people, there is no one for us to have power over.
An example of this would be a Robinson Crusoe. He has a lot of strength, because he has to handle many difficult situations by himself on an island. However, he cannot have lot of power because there are no people to influence. When the man Friday comes, Robinson gets power because now there is someone for him to influence.
In the same way, you can have power without having strength. An old king who is very sick might still have a lot of power because people respect him, but most of his strength is gone, and he could die or be replaced easily. He still has power though, because people will do what he says.
What are means in which someone can be powerful in our world today?
– Money is one thing solves everything in this world. By donating money to the society, we can get fame and honor. Fame and honor give power because people will respect what we say. This is especially true today, when you can buy media attention with money, like Donald Trump is doing now to run for president.
List at least 4 characters from Of Mice and Men that you think have power and express what gives them that power.
– Curley’s Wife
n Curley’s wife has power and she expresses her power to other characters in of Mice and Men. She uses the power of white women over black people. She knows that black people are at a low level, so she uses white power to threaten Crooks.
n Curley has his power because he was son of the boss of farm where they work. Curley uses his father’s power and tries to control and dominate the workers. After Lennie crushes his hand, other workers find out that Curley does not have any power that can control them.
n Crooks is a black worker who is at a very low society level. He usually follows people who have power. Even though he is in a low level, he uses his power against Lennie by finding his weakness. He finds out that Lennie’s weakness was George. Crooks keeps exploiting Lennie’s fear about George not being with him in the future.
n George does not have much power to influence many people. However, he gets power to control Lennie. Both of them rely on each other, and Lennie listens to George. George is smarter, so we can see that he is commanding Lennie.
What is the function or purpose of power in the novella? in real life?
Purpose of power in this novella is to get other people to do what you want, even if they do not want to, it shows coercive power. In real life, this kind of power exist, but there is also form of power that influence people by showing respect and gaining respect and trust.
Are there characters who are disempowered (without power) but who have strength? If so, who? Explain.
Candy is a character who is old does not have any power, but he has strength to get over difficult situations. When Curley’s wife threatens the workers, the other characters are intimidated. But Candy is different: he talks back to her and says that even though she has power, they have friends and land and places to go, and so she can’t control him. This shows that he can resist her with his strength and determination.
Are there people or people groups in the world who are disempowered, but have strength? If you think so, give an example.
Minority groups in different countries are oppressed and don’t have power often. For example Mexicans in America are discriminated against and some laws are passed to make their lives more difficult. In spite of that, they stick together, and don’t give up in life. Another minority group like that is Muslims in Europe, who people don’t like because they are different from the Europeans. They are also discriminated against, but still keep living there.
What is the function or purpose of strength in the novella? in real life?
Strength in the novella helps the workers to be encouraged and stay strong and think about their dreams even when their lives are tough and they don’t have much power in society. The purpose in real life is very similar, because the situation in the book, where people have not much power in society happens often in real life. Of course, strength in real life is also used to control people and get power, but it has a positive use too.
If your initial position was that Strength and Power were the same, have you changed your mind as a result of this reflection? Why or why not?
I said that they were different things, and seeing the examples from the book really shows the difference clearly. People in the novella get power without having strength, like the ones who get their power from manipulating others or using their social position. They wouldn’t have the strength to face tough times. And I really saw how strength was not just a nice thing to have, but actually necessary when power is against you – you need a way to not be destroyed, like the characters who resist power in the story.
“Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.” ~Leo Buscaglia
Curley’s wife and Crooks can be seen as cruel. They are cruel because they use their power to control others and make their lives worse. Both of them found out the weaknesses of others, and used them for their own benefit. Basically, they try to use power cruelly to remind others of their own existence. They are not strong, however. This can be seen because they are not showing any toughness in bad situations, or doing something that requires great effort. They are only using the fact that other people are weak. So the book shows why the weak are cruel. Their only way to get power is to dominate people who are even weaker, which is what cruelty is.