Themes Found in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1070 Words5 Pages
Section One: Themes Theme One: Hopelessness Hopelessness is not a common theme in novels, mostly because it is hard to write a hopeless novel that can still hold a reader’s interest. Nevertheless, John Steinbeck was able to successfully write Of Mice and Men, a hopeless book from the start, but it still remains one of the most popular stories ever written. Steinbeck creates the illusion of hope by introducing their dream in the first chapter. However, it is hinted at that this will not ever be achieved, on page seven, “Lennie looked puzzled. ‘Like I done in Weed?’ ‘Oh, so you forgot that too? Well, I ain’t gonna remind ya, fear ya do it again.’”. George is speaking in the second half of the quote, and is foreshadowing that the events in Weed are bound to reoccur. Other hints throughout the book also strengthen this statement, but this is the first we come across. Once we see how Lennie is such a problem to society, through the events in Weed, it is apparent that they can never reach their dream. Because Lennie is holding back George, they cannot move forward far enough in life to live by themselves. From the beginning we know that Lennie must either go through a significant character change, or must be removed from society. It is a hopeless situation because we, as readers, are hopeful for Lennie-George continuum to succeed more than anything. Once Lennie moves out of the picture, our hope is lost. Even if Lennie were to change his character instead of dying, it would have the same effect because readers love Lennie as a child, not an adult. Of Mice and Men is the only tragedy that has been studied this year, therefore the only containing the theme of hopelessness. However, the theme of hope can also be found in Theme Two: Dream... ... middle of paper ... ...ary. It will be more rewarding if you don’t push your responsibilities onto others. Later on in the book, Candy finds out about George and Lennie’s dream of buying and living on a farm of their own. This gives candy a false hope for change, but is also gives him reason to live. During the next fifty pages we see Candy build on the dream, until it comes crashing down when Lennie kills Curley’s wife. The last we see of Candy is when he is talking to George soon after the incident, wondering if they can still live on their farm. George states that he knew that they would never be able to go through with it, just like everyone else with that same dream, eradicating all of Candy’s hopes. Candy is a representative character, in that he embodies the character of George, as well as his problems. The experiences Candy goes through mirror the experiences George goes through.
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