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Justify your choice of major theme(s) in the novel "Of Mice and Men", and trace its / their development Throughout the story.

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Introduction

Justify your choice of major theme(s) in the novel "Of Mice and Men", and trace its/their development Throughout the story Within the novel "Of Mice and Men", numerous different themes are evident. These range from death (the killing of Curley's wife and of Lennie) to nature (the descriptions of the scenery at the beginning and towards the end of the story). However, the themes that I will consider are that of friendship and of the 'American Dream'. Friendship, in my opinion, is one of the most regularly occurring themes in the story because of all the struggles George and Lennie have to overcome in their friendship, for example, keeping Lennie out of trouble so as to avoid any further predicaments. Also, it is considered slightly strange that these two men (Lennie and George) have travelled together for so long given the trend at the time of itinerant workers who were almost constantly changing their workplace. This shows how strong their bond is and how they would never leave each other. To further enhance this point of the constant occurrence of friendship, we see all the other friendships present on the ranch like Candy's friendship with his loyal dog and the general friendship between all the ranch 'guys'. Candy particularly has a strong friendship between himself and his dog. His feelings are clearly evident in the scene in which Carlson volunteers to shoot his dog. Candy is extremely reluctant but allows it anyway. ...read more.

Middle

To begin with, we have the basic emotions and things that can happen within a simple friendship. For example, when Lennie has a dead mouse and is stroking it, George takes it away but Lennie is hesitant. The emotions range from anger, "give me that mouse or do I have to sock you?", to a caring side when George consoles Lennie after he has confiscated it, "I ain't taking' it away jus' for meanness." On the other hand, as we go deeper into the friendship, we learn that despite the incident in Weed, George is still taking care of Lennie thus concluding that his feelings for Lennie are stronger than those in an ordinary friendship and we can also see that their relationship resembles that of one between brothers. As we move onto the ranch, we see that there is a general sense of friendship between all the ranch 'guys' and also see that racial discrimination is evident in the form of Crook's loneliness. Returning to Lennie and George, when they're introduced to Curley, the defensive element of their friendship comes back into play when Curley gets annoyed that Lennie isn't talking, George becomes protective of Lennie and defends him. Again, the friendship has drastic contrasts, for example, one minute George is almost going to hit Lennie and the next, he's preventing him from getting hit by Curley. A new character comes into the fold in the form of Slim who is more appreciated by George than Lennie although he gives Lennie one of his pups. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is so obsessed with this idea that its all he talks about to others and this has lead both Crooks and Curley's wife to calling him crazy because they don't know what he's talking about and this is a factor as to why he is considered slow, not just because of his intellectual inability but also because of the things he says not following the thread of conversation. Lastly, in the final scene, Candy asks George if the dream is off after they find Curley's wife's body but he doesn't respond. In any case, when he meets up with Lennie, Lennie requests that George tell the dream again one last time. George obliges and then shoots Lennie during it, signalling the end of the dream they once shared. The theme of the 'American Dream', like that of Friendship, is introduced almost from the beginning and runs right through till the end but doesn't extend beyond however as it's been given a conclusion. The two themes chosen are interconnected very closely: The complications of George and Lennie's friendship got in the way of them realising their "dream". The friendship and dream got in the way of each other spelling disaster for both. For example, Lennie being killed (friendship) and the dream not seeing the light of day ('American Dream'). This point also links with the meaning of the title of the novel. "The best laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft agley [often go wrong]" Zulkifle Hussain 10E October 2002 ...read more.

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