Of Mice and Men: Key Themes (with Quotes)

These are just some Themactic ideas for Of Mice and Men, the page numbers may not be relivant to all copies. All quotes are highlighted pink. Sorry for any spelling mistakes.

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  • Created by: Curlot
  • Created on: 05-05-14 15:32

The American Dream

In 1929 the wall street market crashed so people moved out into the country to find work. Franklin D Rooservalt had to speak out to reassure the nation.

The American Dream is that of "that dream of a land in which life should be better, richer, fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement".

The American Dream was an idea developed by James Truslow Adams based on the inspirational speeched by the President. Rooservalt.

Some think that the American dream is the pusuit of material prosperity, but others disagree and say that it is unavaliable for the working poor. Or, some look towards the American dream with less focus on finance and more on living a simple, fulfilling lifestyle.

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Human Fragility

Human Fragility is achieved by the constant reminders of death throughout the novel.

" Nine of 'em. I drowned four of 'em right off"(page 39) -> Slim gets rid of 4 puppies straight away due to an inability to be able to look after them. Harsh but nessercary in his eyes.

"An' he ain't no good to himself" (page 50)> Modern idea of euthanaisa, just kill it i it gets useless or too old to be good.

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Dreams and Reality

Many dreams are mentioned in the Book: George and Lennie's dream, Curley's dream of being a boxer, Curley's wifes dream of being an acterss, Slim's dream for comanionship.

"With us it ain't like that. We got a future"-> Unlike the others they still feel that there dream is achieveable.

"Red and bue and green rabbits, Lennie. Millions of 'em" -> Steinbeck uses this passage to portray that actually the dream is unrealistic and unachieveable.

"He ain;t hardly got no han' left"->(Page 72) By breaking his hand his dream of becoming a boxer is too broken.

Page 63-66. Lennie and George's dream is detail.

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Protest and Racial Prejudice

Racial prejudice is mostly shown towards Crook's as he is the only Black worker on the farm in the time when the book is set he doesn't have the same status as the other men. Shown as he sleeps in the Stables.

"If he finds out what a crazy ******* you are, we won't get no job" -> George knows that Lennie could cause a bad impression and for them to lose the job becuase of his learning difficulties so to avoid the problem he says "You ain;' gonna say a word"

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"Guys like us, that work on ranches,are the lonliest guys in the world. They got no family"-> Slight hint of regret but shows definate sadness anf gets no reply.

"I seen guys nearly crazy with lonliness" (page 86). Curley may have a wife and father but is actually very lonely he is never shown to have any friends.

"Ain't many guys travel around together. I don't know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other" -> Slim is intrigued by the idea of having a companion and shows regret in not having one.

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Relationships - George and Lennie

The whole novella centres around the relationship between George and Lennie, as it is very important and unusual.

"We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us" -> shows that they are close and care about each others welfare.

" If he comes in here you mov clear to the other side of the room. Will you do that Lennie" -> George often acts as a Father/Brother and looks out for Lennie more than the other way round. He warns and advises him.

"Don't you even take a look at that *****" -> protective of Lennie telling him to leave her alone.

Slim is sympathetic at the end and  helps George " Come on George me an' you'll go in an' get a drink" (page 121)

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Relationships- General

Slim is envious of their friendship "I hardly never seen two guys travel together" (page 44).

" you taking his pay away from him?" -> Curley thinks that the relationship is unusual and that George is taking advantage of Lennie .

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