"Of Mice and Men" Themes

This is a comprehensive description of nearly all the themes in "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. I have tried to make each theme on its own page(s) and the list are as follows:

  • Structure of the novel
  • Loneliness
  • Friendship
  • Dreams and Broken Dreams
  • Prejudice and Injustice
  • Fate and Destiny

I hope this helps anyone doing English Lit! :) 

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Page 1

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Structure of the Novel

"Of Mice and Men" is a short novel or novella which is split into six clear sections and is written in a simple
narrative way, so much that it can easily be adapted into a play as it has been in the past.. The story is…

Page 2

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Loneliness

Loneliness is a constant theme throughout the novel and crops up everywhere. Most of the characters
are lonely in some way or another and the only thing that keeps them going is their dreams for the future,
which will be explained in the next section. Some are pushed away…

Page 3

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the brothel house with the other men. He causes his wife to be lonely as he will not allow her to leave their
house and talk to the other ranch men apart from Slim which upsets Curley.

Whit: The typical ranch hand, Whit feels loneliness in remembering wished-for friends such…

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Friendship

George and Lennie's friendship is a key theme in the novel. Most of the major moments are
centralised around their companionship. It is also important to understand that their friendship
stems from years of camaraderie.

Their friendship represents how it is possible for the ranch hands to overcome their…

Page 5

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Dreams and Broken Dreams

The American Dream

The standard American dream for people living in the 1930s was to live independently with job quality
dependent on own hard work and free choice, as opposed to being forced to do it for wealth or political reasons.
They also dream of a…

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and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face. She was very pretty and simple, and her
face was sweet and young."




Prejudice and Injustice

The novel is a socially conscious one and it tells the story of characters and their futile efforts to try…

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Lennie didn't mean to kill Curley's wife, but no jury or lynch party would believe that.

Fairness

Despite the large amount of injustices, there are a few cases of fairness:

Crooks and Candy are both allowed to stay on the ranch despite one having a crooked back and the other…

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