The Futility of Dreams in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay examples

The Futility of Dreams in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay examples

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The Futility of Dreams in Of Mice and Men

 
Everyone has a dream they hope to achieve, but dreams are not always possible to attain. In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, two ranch hands, George and Lennie, find work in Salinas Valley. Lennie, constantly getting into trouble, inadvertently causes the two of them to be run out of town and thus have to find new work regularly. George and Lennie's search for work in the hope of accomplishing their dream of a small farm of their own displays how futile realizing dreams can be.

The major themes identified by commentators in Of Mice and Men are friendship and isolation, hope and futility(Votteler 334). Through George and Lennie's friendship, the hope to achieve their dream is kept alive. "George, little and clever, feels that Lennie has been given into his keeping"(Moore 341). "Simpleminded and gentle, Lennie possesses great physical strength and becomes unwittingly destructive when startled"(Votteler 334). Although Lennie is very strong, he is also very timid and has trouble remembering things, but under George's control, Lennie is calm and docile since he just does what George tells him to(Moore 341).

According to Moore, "Of Mice and Men tells the story of two drifting ranch hands, George and Lennie, who dream, as rootless men do, of a piece of land of their own, where they will 'belong'"(341). George tells Lennie that the loneliest guys in the world are like them working on ranches, have no family, no place to belong for continually moving on to a new ranch, and have nothing to look forward to(Steinbeck 13). With them, it is not like that because they have a future, somebody to talk to, and are working toward getting their own farm with a couple ac...


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...ited by Thomas Votteler, Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993, p. 341-342.

Rascoe, Burton. "John Steinbeck," in Steinbeck and His Critics: A Record of Twenty-Five Years, edited by E. W. Tedlock, Jr. and C. V. Wicker, University of New Mexico Press, 1957, pp. 57-67, in Contemporary Literary Criticism Vol. 75, edited by Thomas Votteler, Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993, pp. 336-339.

Shurgot, Michael W. "A Game of Cards in Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'," in Steinbeck Quarterly, Vol. XV, Nos. 1-2, Winter-Spring, 1982, pp. 38-43, in Contemporary Literary Criticism Vol. 75, edited by Thomas Votteler, Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993, pp. 362-365.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

Votteler, Thomas. Contemporary Literary Criticism Vol. 75, edited by Thomas Votteler, Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1993, p. 334-335.

 

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