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Explain why dreams and plans are so important in 'Of Mice and Men'.

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English Essay - 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck Explain why dreams and plans are so important in 'Of Mice and Men' George and Lennie are examples of 'migrant' or 'itinerant' farm workers who fuelled and made possible the intensive farming economy. These men would travel great distances, however they could, often by foot, or by the empty boxcars that were later used to carry the grain they helped to farm. They would receive $2.50 - $3.00 a day, plus board, which meant food and a room. The food would be very basic, the room sometimes not more than a small tent shared with many other workers. Conditions did improve for migrant farm workers at the start of the First World War, because of the industrial action in the USA at that time forced an increase in wages and therefore an increase in the price of grain. But at the time John Steinbeck wrote 'Of Mice and Men', advances in technology were rendering many of the farm workers obsolete, because of the improvements in industry and machinery. Before machinery came onto the farm, the mule driver was at the top of the social tree on the ranch, because of his high skills. ...read more.


This doesn't mean that we should stop dreaming, and laying our plans, even though the likelihood of them succeeding is small, we still need those dreams and plans to keep us working and to keep us trying to be better, do better, earn better and have a better quality of living. The idea of mice is also a potent one, because even though Lennie is very large, he is still moved by something even bigger and stronger, in the shape of fate and destiny. Lennie is controlled by George in the same way, even though George is far smaller than Lennie is. The idea of mice is also potent because of the burrowing that mice do to make their nests, only to leave them later, not to return. The same is true for all migrant workers, constantly working to get their own farm, only to have their dreams shattered. They also move on to other places all the time, leaving their 'burrows' to move on. This is particularly true with George and Lennie, because of Lennie's actions throughout the book. The dream is never realised, but much good has come from the dreaming. Each of the characters has their own personal dreams: * George has the dream of owning the farm, and therefore is much more responsible with his money. ...read more.


He is very intelligent, but he has never had any opportunity to do well in his life. It is in him that we first see that the dream is impossible to really achieve. * Curley's Wife is seen upon as dangerous by the other ranch workers because she is married to the son of the Boss, and is also married to Curley, who takes every opportunity to have a fight. Curley's wife is very flirtatious, and has dreamed for many years of being a singer and actress, but never made it. She married the first man who came along and chose badly, and is not really treated as a person by Curley. He is very sexually orientated, as is revealed by the glove of Vaseline he wears, to keep his hands smooth. But had fate dealt her a different hand, and had she married a man who treated her as a person, she would have been a good and loving wife. She is shied away from by all the other ranch hands, but Lennie is too innocent to recognise the danger. All the characters have dreams of their own, as all people do, but in the novel, these are revealed to us. All the dreams of all the people shape the whole book, causing it to become a real story of the ranches, not just a story of a mad man and his clever friend. ...read more.

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