- Loneliness: This is the main theme, as many of the characters by virtue of their itinerant existence are lonely and their lonliness motivates them to seek alternative ways of life, different characters seek solace in different things. For candy it is his dog, G+L is eachother and crooks his pride. 'guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world' however G and L have eachother ,but not us! Because.. I got you to look after me and you got me and thats why' Even so G is still lonely as Lennie can be a burden.As with many statements, Steinbeck offers no answers to loneliness, merely a graphic portryal of the problem. *see mindmap
- Predudice: Crooks illustrates racial prejudice. He is smart and needs companionship, however he is denied this as he is a ***** which is not his fault. Another example is Curleys wife, she is not allowed to talk to the men, she is treated not as an individual and is un-named throughout the novel, showing her as curleys possession. Also candy is ageism as candy is older than crooks and is outlived. Lonliness here is emphasised with candys relationship with hig dog and his feeling when it is shot. Both candy and crooks are workers that will never see the benfits of their labour as the both suffer a disability, also prejudice.
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- Dreams: Most dreams are shown in relation to the 'american dream' Culturally this links to American history and a persons desire for happiness and freedom regardless of factors standing in their way. However, the reality of this is not the case. We see George and Lennies dream throughout the whole novel as well as Curleys wifes dream, these dreams are both unrealistic. George and Lennie share a dream - to own a little patch of land and live on it in freedom. George is so set on the idea that he even knows of some land that he thinks they could buy. Lennie's main desire is to tend the soft-haired rabbits they will keep. CW dreams of being a movie star. Her hopes were raised by a man who claimed he would take her to Hollywood, but when she didn't receive a letter from him, she married Curley. Candy joins George and Lennie's plan of owning a piece of land. His savings make the dream actually possible to achieve. Crooks dreams of being seen as equal to everyone else. He knows his civil rights. He remembers fondly his childhood, when he played with white children who came to his family's chicken ranch, and longs for a similar relationship with white people again.
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- Conflict: There are several types of conflict shown throughout the novel. These include; Character conflict, inner conflict, man vs society and conflict in nature. Inner conflict is shown through the exploration of the characters dream and Georges decison on Lennies fate. Man vs society however is shown through crroks and lenni not meeting expectations of normal behaviour. The character conflict is shown by the fight between Lennie and curley, crooks and curleys wife, carlson and candy and george meeting the boss.
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