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The two main themes in 'Of Mice and Men' are loneliness and dreams

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Introduction

Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas california. Steinbecks novels can be classified as social novels, dealing with the economic problems of rural labour in America in the 1920s and 30s. 'Of Mice and Men' is set in the farmlands of the Salinas valley, the country side described in the opening chapter of the novel and the ranch itself, may have been familiar to Steinbeck as he grew up in the area where his father owned a farm. The two main themes in 'Of Mice and Men' are loneliness and dreams. These themes are interwoven in that, people who are lonely have the most need of dreams to help them through life. The lonliness theme is evident in many of the characters, Candys long time companion is his dog , 'Had him since a pup. He said proudly'. (pg 47) He cannot bring himself to shoot the old cripped dog, even though he knows its for the best, 'Why'n't you shot him candy' asks Carlson. 'No, I couldn't do that, I had 'im too long' (pg 47) ...read more.

Middle

We know this when again talking with Lennie she tells him "Well I aint told this to nobody before, I don't like curly' he aint a nice fella". George and Lennie are not lonely during the novel as they have each other. George will be lonely afterwards as he will not have Lennie by his side. Lennie, because his character has a childlike innocence about him he may not fear lonileness like the others. The only evidence we have to show Lennie has some concept of being alone is when he is with crooks and Crooks teases him that George is hurt and may not come back. "George gonna come back" 'Lennie reassured himself in a frightened voice' (pg 77) The other theme the novel focuses on is the 'American dream' Where many aspired to obtaining a better and more properous life. Many of the farm labourers during this time would have dreamt of buying their own land to work themseleves. The symbol throughout the novel for 'the dream' is rabbits. 2 George and Lennie share a dream - to own a little place of their own and live on it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curlys wifes continues the theme, all be it a different 'dream'. She has draems of leaving the farm and being in the movies She tells Lennie she met a guy that was gonna put her in the 'pitchers' The novel focuses on many contrasts. George and Lennie are contrastec on the way they look and behave. Lennie is decribed as 'a huge man, shapeless of face, with wide sloping shoulders walking heavily, we percieve him to be slow ( in mind and body). George in contrast is 'small and quick' with sharpe features. The more able of the two. Lennie can also be compared to several animals ' a bear' , immensly strong, he is innocent and helpless like the mouse and puppy. Candy can be compared to his dog, both of them old, both of them good workers in their youth, but now worn out and past their usefulness. The people on the ranch with power can also be contrasted. Slim who is respected for his wisdom and competence and Curly who only has power because he is the farm owners son not from respect. The Title of the book 'OF MICE AND MEN' comes from a poem by Robert Burns. The best laid shem ?? ?? ?? ?? Jayne Stupple ...read more.

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