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Of Mice and Men is about the two basic needs: the need for friendship and to have something to look forward to

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men is about the two basic needs: the need for friendship and to have something to look forward to Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is set in the 1930s, the years of the depression. This was a time when you needed friendship and dreams to keep you going. The depression, however, meant people were lonely and isolated and true friendship was hard to come by. The author lived through the times described in the book and was able to write using personal experiences. America in theory was the land of opportunity where every man was for himself. We are introduced straight away to George and Lennie, the two main characters in the book. They are typical of American workers of this time who travelled from ranch to ranch searching for work. They develop a close relationship and develop the dream of all Americans to be free in life. Their dream is to work until they can earn enough money to buy a house "an' live off the fatta the lan' " which was their vision of freedom. The dream is a comfort to Lennie as he has been told it so many times. ...read more.

Middle

But Crooks' dream is ruled out as unimportant by all the men. He only gets to play a game of pitching horseshoes with them. This causes his dream to have little mention in the book. The book goes back to George and Lennie's dream at a mention of an alfalfa patch by Crooks and Candy coming in. This is another stumbling point in the dream as Candy breaks his promise and also tells Crooks about the dream. Thankfully Crooks isn't willing to ruin the dream completely but instead doubts them. He tells Lennie and Candy that he has seen so many men have the same dream as them and have failed to achieve it. He immediately suggests George, Lennie and Candy will fail as well. But as he hears about the plans they have made he begins to think that the dream could come true. He also figures that this is a chance for him to get away from the farm and help George and Lennie with the small jobs and live a normal life with them. But as George returns, he is annoyed at the dream being told to Crooks and I think this makes Crooks feel unwanted. ...read more.

Conclusion

He does this to Lennie when he suggests 'What if George didn't come back?' This frightens Lennie and brings great distress to him. The depth of Lennie's helplessness is shown. The last example of the need for friendship is Curley's wife. She is always treated as a toy by the men but she is too stupid to realise it. Now she flirts with the ranchmen even though she is married. However, her marriage took place in spite of her mother's feelings and she just feels like Curley's possession. All through the book she is referred to as 'Curley's wife', his property. According to class, Curley's wife and the farm hands are equal socially but she feels the need to be abusive and dominate the men. Having explored the basic needs of friendship and having something to look forward to within the story line of "Of Mice and Men', I have realised that the two things are linked. George and Lennie's friendship was really strong in the novel as they both need each other. George stays with Lennie because of his own loneliness and Lennie stays with George because of his own need for protection. The climax of George and Lennie's friendship is when George kills Lennie to save him from a brutal death. This is the ultimate act of friendship. ...read more.

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