Many of the characters in "Of Mice and Men" live in the hope of a better life. How does Steinbeck show this idea of hope as dream rather than reality?

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Oliver Pulling     Candidate No. 8207    Centre No. 65217    January 2003

Many of the characters in “Of Mice and Men” live in the hope of a better life. How does Steinbeck show this idea of hope as dream rather then reality?

        John Steinbeck’s book “Of Mice and Men” was written in         and is a story about two American labourers called George and Lennie. George protects his strong but stupid friend and shares the dream with Lennie of one day settling down and farming their own land. George is the smaller of the pair but he is the brains of them. The other main characters in the book are Crooks, Candy, Curly, Curly’s wife and Slim. The book is set in the Southern states of America, a few miles away from “Soledad”, on an isolated ranch and in the early years of America’s depression. The book shows many different personalities and different peoples dreams.

        George and Lennie have an odd relationship where George seems totally responsible for Lennie as Lennie has obvious learning difficulties, which leads the pair into trouble. Lennie seems to have difficulties controlling his strength, an minor example of this is when he kills mouse but I much more important example is when him and George are run out of Weed by the residents as a girl gets distressed by Lennie’s actions. George often gets stressed and angry with Lennie but this also shows how much he cares about Lennie because he would never leave him.

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        George is the one in control, he finds the pair work, looks after Lennie, he has ideas on how to get work and is a good planner. Lennie is big and slow witted, forgetful, couldn’t work alone, not responsible, relies on George and often imitates George. George and Lennie share the same dream throughout the whole of the book and we are first introduced to this in the first chapter. The first time we hear there dream is when they are resting on a hill not far from a ranch near Soledad having run away from Weed in the North ...

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