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"Of Mice and Men" - outlining some of the themes that relate to the companionship, loneliness and dreams in the story, which are used by Steinbeck.

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck English GCSE Coursework In this essay, written about the tragic novel, "Of Mice and Men", I shall be outlining some of the themes that relate to the companionship, loneliness and dreams in the story, which are used by Steinbeck. I shall also be describing some of the events that took place. The novel itself is about a couple of men, George Milton and Lennie Small, who travel together. They aren't ordinary men, but ones with a future and aspirations. Their hopes are to seek new work on a ranch and to save up enough money to buy their own. This is their dream. The relationship that George and Lennie shared, was one of a master and dog-like companionship, a father and son relationship. In these comparisons, Lennie, even though he was a lot more powerful, taller and stronger than George, was the dog or the son. For example George supplied the necessities of life, for both himself and Lennie (food, a place to work, sleep, etc.). Lennie was mentally retarded, and so, this factor highlighted his vulnerability to George, and other people, as shown later on in the novel. This element made George feel superior, and, deep down, even Lennie realised that he needed a father figure to keep him out of trouble, and, in reverse, George knew that he needed Lennie to protect him. ...read more.

Middle

Lennie was afraid of the ranch he and George worked on, because there were men there. He was timid because he feared that he might have been "socked". His pleasure came from the thought of stroking rabbits and actually stroking other animals. These points again demonstrate his childlike conduct and the simplicity of his mind. Also, his shyness on the ranch proved that he didn't even recognise his own strength, because otherwise he wouldn't have needed to avoid trouble. In the novel, there was an old man named Candy, who had had one of his hands chopped off in a machine. Candy had an old, smelly dog, which he had had for years. About halfway through the tale, Carlson became fed-up with the dog's foul stench, and so he forced Candy to let him kill it. Once Candy heard the gunshot, he lay a moment, still staring at the ceiling, and then "...he rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay silent." This suggests his isolation, as soon as his dog was killed. It was unfortunate for Candy, as his only companionship was with his dog. So then, when reading the story, he gained my sorrow, as he then had absolutely nothing to look forward to, except death. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason that Curley's wife flirted so much was that she was very insecure, and the reason she was so promiscuous is because she was unhappy. The source of her unhappiness was that she never achieved her dream of being in show business. In a way, she achieved her dream in death. The end of the story was tragic, with the death of Lennie, and the death of Curley's wife. The most pleasing thing about the ending though, was the fact that Lennie's death was painless, and that he died in the imagery of the dream. George and Candy's dreams collapsed by the absence of Lennie. Candy had only his own death to look forward to and George had nothing but the life of an old ranch hand to live. We, as readers, learn that, at the end of the day, the tale has a great sense of irony, for instance George said that he wanted Lennie out of his life in chapter 1, but we soon find that George is mentally lost without Lennie. Another feature to notice was when Candy told George on page 65, that he wished he'd have shot his own dog himself. George took this information from Candy as advice, and he shot Lennie himself. This again is ironic, as it hints that George and Lennie's relationship was like one of master and dog. ...read more.

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