Loneliness and Dreams
The two main themes in 'Of Mice and Men' - foreshadowed by the reference to Burns' mouse - are loneliness and dreams. They interlock: people who are lonely have most need of dreams to help them through.
George is not lonely during the novel, as he has Lennie. He will be lonely afterwards, without his best friend.
George and Lennie share a dream - to own a little patch of land and live on it in freedom. He is so set on the idea that he even knows of some land that he thinks they could buy.
Lennie - Loneliness
Lennie is the only character who is innocent enough not to fear loneliness, but he is angry when Crooks suggests George won't come back to him.
George and Lennie share a dream - to own a little patch of land and live on it in freedom. Lennie's main desire is to tend the soft-haired rabbits they will keep.
Curleys Wife Loneliness
She is married to a man she doesn't love and who doesn't love her. There are no other women on the ranch and she has nothing to do. She tries to befriend the men by hanging round the bunkhouse.
Curleys Wife Dream
She 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.
When Candy's ancient, ill dog was shot, Candy has nothing left. He delayed killing the dog, even though he knew deep down that it was the best thing, as he dreaded losing his long-time companion.
Candy joins George and Lennie's plan of owning a piece of land. His savings make the dream actually possible to achieve.
Crooks lives in enforced solitude, away from the other men. He is bitter about being a back-busted ******. He is thrilled when Lennie and Candy come into his room and are his companions for a night
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.