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Is 'Of Mice and Men' Pessimistic?

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Is 'Of Mice and Men' Pessimistic? L.M.P The two main themes of 'Of mice and Men' are loneliness and prejudice. These two elements create a depressive and pessimistic background. You can feel the pessimism all through the book, but some parts have different levels of pessimism. John Steinbeck chose the title from a poem called 'To a Mouse' and written by Robbie Burns, from which the book is clearly inspired: "But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy!" The last two verses refer to the dream and how it doesn't succeed. The dream is destroyed by loneliness, which in this case, is represented by Curly's wife. ...read more.


She is married, even if Curly doesn't love her; but he is very possessive, and cnat stand that she flirts with the workers in the ranch. "Got no teeth, he's all stiff with rheumatism. He ain't no good to you, Candy. An' he ain't no good to himself. Why'n't you shoot him, Candy?" Candy's dog is his only friend, this shows all the loneliness in the ranch. Candy is left to no other option than to shoot the dog, his only companion, and this will lead him to complete loneliness. This is an obvious metaphor to what's going to happen to Lennie, which is no good for George or any one else. Another small metaphor, which gives a clue to what's going to happen to Lennie, is that the same gun is used to kill the dog and Lennie. ...read more.


Candy too is optimistic about the dream, but knows it's all over when Lennie kills Curly's wife. George is the cleverest from the three and knows from the beginning that the dream is never going to happen, and that it's impossible. Lennie keeps going on about the dream and so George finally with optimism and for a short period of time, thinks its possible but it all comes to an end when Lennie accidentally kills Culys's wife. This is a book with a pessimistic atmosphere, and it's set in a bad time for the world. John Steinbeck had the same life as a worker like George and had similar experiences. Lennie's relationship with Gorge in the beginning is very optimistic, but in the end it all changes and their lives turn into a 'blind alley'. In conclusion, this book is pessimistic, and it's a masterpiece of modern literature. ...read more.

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