Themes in Of Mice and Men

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Themes in Of Mice and Men . . .
o Dreams: The whole book focuses on the idea of "The American Dream" Lenny
and George often talk about their dream of owning their own ranch one day: "We'd
have a little house an' a room to ourself. Little fat iron stove an' in the winter we'd
keep a fire goin' in it. It ain't enough land so we'd have to work too hard. Maybe six,
seven hours a day. We wouldn't have to buck no barley eleven hours a day. An' when
we put in a crop, why, we'd be there to take the crop up, We'd know what come of
our planting." "WE could live offa the fatta the lan'" It also shows the fragility of
dreams, which is shown in the title as it comes from the poem "To a Mouse" by
Robert Burns "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley,/An' lea'e us
nought but grief an' pain,/For promised joy!" Candy and Crooks also share this dream
later on in the book, and Crooks dreams of equality. Curley's wife also has dreams
as she dreams of being a movie star and her hopes were raised when a man told her
he could put her in Hollywood but she received no further contact from him.
o Loneliness: To most people on the ranch, even broadminded Slim, George
and Lennie's partnership seems very unusual, which hints that they are lonely: "Guys
like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world" Candy has a strong
attachment to his dog as he is lonely because he has no permanent friends on the
ranch: "Had him since a pup!" Candy is desperate for companionship and when he
learns about George and Lenny's dream he persuades them to let him be a part of it
and discusses proposals for it with Lenny, who is too simple to remember. Even whit,
a secondary character, wishes for friendship and remembers a long last friend who
left the ranch, which is shown when he discovers a letter written in a magazine by the
guy and Whit reminisces about when he was on the ranch. Curley's wife is a very
lonely character as she admits to Lenny that she married a man she doesn't love
because her dreams of becoming a movie star were shattered "I never get to talk to
nobody. I get awful lonely" "I don't like Curley. He ain't a nice fella." "SO I married
Curley." Curley, in turn, is also lonely and appears to have married only to impress
the men with his sexual prowess and boasts openly about his fighting skills in an
attempt to gain respect from his companions. Slim is possibly the least lonely man on
the ranch, along side Lenny and George, as he commands respect and friendship
from the rest of the ranch and is seen as "the prince of the ranch" Crooks, however,
is almost definitely the most lonely man on the ranch as his is confined to a separate
room because of the colour of his skin. He talks to Lenny about how it's wrong for a
man not to have a companion and how it can drive you mad "books ain't no good. A
guy needs somebody ­ to be near him"


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