Of Mice and Men Themes

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Dreams

  • George and Lennie have the American Dream of working hard to buy a patch of land and making a life there, and Candy wants to join them
  • George and Lennie's dream is that of a life of freedom and self-sufficiency
  • Curley's wife dreams of being a movie star, though we know this is unlikely to happen
  • Crooks dreams of equality and an end to his loneliness
  • No one gets their dreams in the novel - Steinbeck is writing about the way in which we decieve ourselves
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Loneliness

  • Unlike the other ranch hands, George and Lennie have each other for company
  • Crooks lives in a seperate barn and is isolated because of his race
  • Curley's wife is the only woman on the ranch and is isolated in a loveless marriage
  • When Candy's dog dies, he feels the despair of his loneliness as he is the oldest worker on the ranch
  • The novel opens near a place called "Soledad" - a word which means "solitude in Spanish
  • The men play solitaire, which is a solitary game
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Companionship

  • Companionship is shown through the friendship of George and Lennie
  • There are few other meaningful relationships in the book
  • The other ranch hands find it hard to understand George and Lennie's relationship
  • Lonely characters like Candy, Crooks and Curley's wife crave companionship but don't find it
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