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'All characters in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ are either lonely, bored or in need of escaping from the soulless existence of the itinerant labour.' Discuss

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Of Mice and Men All characters in the novel 'Of Mice and Men' are either lonely, bored or in need of escaping from the soulless existence of the itinerant labour. It is based on a society of men leading empty lives, trapped in a lonely life, consisting mainly of hard physical work. There was not enough happiness, love and affection in their lives. The novel is set in California, the Southern states of America, in the 1930's around the time of the 'Great Depression'. The ranch is based in 'Soledad'; which is the Spanish word for 'Loneliness'. The bunkhouse that the men sleep and live in is a long and rectangular building. The walls are white washed and the floor unpainted. In three of the four walls are small, square windows. In the fourth one was a solid door with a wooden latch. There are eight bunks, all with a nailed apple box over them with the opening forward. This made two small shelves for the personal belongings of each ranch hand occupying the certain bunk. On these shelves were little articles, soap, razors, talcum powder, Western magazines, medicines, little vials, combs and a few neckties. There was also a black cast iron stove, and a big square table in the centre of the room, with scattered playing cards across it, and surrounding the table were boxes for the men to sit on. ...read more.


These men love each other. They talk to each other and know that the other cares for them, because George looks after Lennie, and Lennie looks after George. However, George has a much greater job in looking after Lennie, than Lennie has in looking after George. Lennie is a bit of a dunce and is always forgetting things, but George has the brains. They both are physically well built, but Lennie does not realise his own strength sometimes, he is dangerously strong. Lennie is the physical side of the pair, whereas George is the mental. The fact that they have each other gives them more of a chance of success, than the other ranch hands. Lennie loves George to tell him what; one-day things will be like. Their dream is to one day buy a little house, with a ten acres, a "win'mill", a kitchen, an orchard to grow "cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, and a few berries", a section on the land to grow alfalfa that Lennie will use to feed the rabbits with, hutches and pens full with pigs, chickens, cows, goats, cats, pigeons, a dog and rabbits that Lennie could pet, a smoke house so they could kill the pigs and then smoke it, for smoked ham and bacon etc, and for them to literally "live off the fatta the lan'". ...read more.


George finally shot Lennie. Lennie jarred forward and the settled peacefully as he lay on the sand. George just sat stiffly and silently n the bank, looking at his hand that had just pulled the trigger disgustedly. George knew it was for the best, where ever they were to go Lennie's unrecognised strength would lead to trouble; it had already, both in Weed and Soledad. Lennie was trapped by his strength. Although, Lennie has now been released from pain by no longer being able to kill others and from not getting shot by half a dozen men cruelly, but peacefully by George. The upsetting thing is, that Lennie was so afraid of being alone and away from George, and now he was just that. It was all over!!! George is now free; he is no longer trapped by his want of freedom, of constantly looking after Lennie. I think the novel tries to give us the message that people try to lead their lives as successfully as possible, in order to result in the best possible outcome. However this is very hard to succeed. The ranch hands wanted the 'American Dream' to become reality, but is very unlikely and as shown does not happen. The novel gave a very positive view of the 'American dream', but this is erroneous and does not come true. The chances of finding true, lasting friendship and happiness are also very unlikely as it is always spoilt by misfortune, arguments, inconveniences and sometimes death, as in this case. ...read more.

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