Men and Mice Essay

Topics: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck Pages: 3 (1292 words) Published: December 9, 2013

Literature Criticism Essay
In essence, Of Mice and Men is a novella about dreams and aspirations. John Steinbeck sets the novel linked to the American Dream during the 1930s Great Depression, when high unemployment made plenty of poor drifters struggle in California with a naive assumption of starting a new life by owning a small piece of land. The two mostly represented characters under that background, George and Lennie, who are itinerant workers from California searching for work on ranches in Soledad, share an innocent dream of “live off the fatta the lan” (14). Hence, dreams are integrated with hope, reality, and fate. Firstly, as a true reflection of the 1930s Great Depression in American, the story suggests that the nature of human dreams is a hope to escape from grim reality with the integral point of being independent and living happily. By creating dreams, the life is infused with a driving motive of ambition; while, without dreams and aspirations, life would lack direction and meaning, which is possible to make human sinking into despair. To George and Lennie, the dream of having a small acreage farm means joys of self dependence, security, and being their own boss, like: “we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we`ll just say the hell with goin to work, and we`ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof—Nuts!” (14-15) Through the comparison to other ranch hands, George recognizes that he cannot simply accept such a meaningless life with the grind and poverty of working on ranch, as George described in the book: “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don`t belong no place...They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.”(13-14) This makes George believe that Lennie and him are in a unique situation, because they share a “symbiotic relationship” ( Halyersmcq) by depending each...
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