The Role Dreams Play in Lives of Of Mice and Men Characters

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The Role Dreams Play in Lives of Of Mice and Men Characters

Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck is a classic novel set in a ranch town in Salinas Valley, California during the Great Depression.  The novel revolves around the lives of two hoboes named Lennie Small and George Milton.  George and Lennie have a dream of owning a farm.  The dream of owning that farm has kept George and Lennie going.  Many people had dreams during the Great Depression because they were suffering terribly.  Dreams gave them a way to believe in the human race.  Throughout the novel, the importance of having a dream keeps the characters going because it gives them something to believe in.

‘“O.K. Someday – we’re gonna get our jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs –.’”  (14)  The usage of the word “someday” shows a sense of longing and uncertainty.  George does not know if it will happen soon or if it will even happen at all.  George and Lennie’s dream is motivated by the fact that they have no stability in their lives.  Because they are hoboes, they have a very unsettled lifestyle and do not know how long they will have a job.  After they are laid off, it may take them awhile for them to find another job.  The farm represents the possibility of freedom, self-reliance, and protection from the cruelties of the world.

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Other characters living on the ranch also have dreams.  Candy, an old swamper, is afraid of being alone and dreams of living out the rest of his with other people.  When he hears about George and Lennie’s dream, he asks them if he can join them so he will not be so lonely.  ‘“S’pose I went in with you guys.  Tha’s three hundred an’ fifty bucks I’d put in.  I ain’t ... I won’t have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs.’”  (59)  Candy is desperate for companionship; he pleads with George and Lennie to ...

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