The Idea of a Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Idea of a Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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The Idea of a Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One of the major themes in 'Of Mice and Men' is 'dreams'. The dreams
are hopes for the future that the characters are so obsessed with that
they base their lives around them taking place, indulging themselves
in them, and craving for them.

George is a clever character who spends his time looking after his
companions Lennie. George has a dream that he and Lennie shall make
some money on the ranch and will then go away and buy a small plot of
land, with a house, and farm it. George just wants to lead a quite
life with Lennie and be happy and away from people who could get them
into trouble. They simply want a place to call their own, "We're gonna
have a little house and a couple of acres" (2.16). George winds his
life around this dream taking place and so, when the dream breaks into
pieces, he is then distraught. The sad thing is that when George first
talks about the dream he does not believe that it will ever happen but
the more he tells Lennie about it on demand the more he believes it
himself. George gets irritated with Lennie even when things aren't his
fault and one of the reasons for this is that Lennie's life is
completely controlled by George and George gets no thanks for helping
Lennie through life. Lennie also does not realise how difficult it
will be to fulfil their dream and get a place of their own, he just
thinks that they work on the ranch and get some money and go away and
buy the farm as his brain only works things out simply

Lennie's dream is a very simplified version of George's. Lennie, who
loves animals and small soft things, just wants to go with George and
tend the animals on the farm that he and George are going to buy. As
Lennie believes everything that George tells him, it's simply a matter
of time, not "if", till they get the farm, "George, how long's it

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gonna be till we get that little place an' live on the fatta lan'- an'
rabbits" (2.15)? This way Steinbeck really makes his readers
appreciate how hard life was for George especially, as he had to watch
over Lennie.

Candy is not very content with life until he overhears George and
Lennie. He is crippled, in constant fear of being canned and only has
his dog for company. When Candy's dog is shot by Carlson, Candy says
nothing about it except to George later that day. The idea of leading
a life that is run by himself with friends for the rest of his few
years is a real prospect to him as he has no one and nothing to look
forward to .Candy who never believed in those kinds of dreams is now
an important part of the circle and is adamant about joining the two
of them, he would never have done this if Lennie and George had not
turned up as he liked to do things with people not on his own.

Curley's wife has a different kind of dream altogether. Instead of a
plot of land that she can legally say is her own, she wants fame,
fortune and admiration. The only person that she tells her dream of a
life in Hollywood to is Lennie because she knows that he will not only
not understand her but will also not tell anyone about it. She does
not like Curley, "Sure I gotta husban'. You all seen him. Swell guy,
ain't he" (4.77)? Curley's wife tells this to Candy Crooks and Lennie.
She also tells Lennie about what would be happening if she had gone to
Hollywood with the man that she met at the 'River Dance Palace': "If
I'd went, I wouldn't be livin' like this, you bet" (9.87). This is
Curley's wife's dream, that she'd be invited back by the man that she
met, to Hollywood, and begin her life again as a public star. Even if
she had not been killed it was very unlikely that she would have been
able to go forward with this dream and would have stayed with Curley
until the time came that she got so frustrated she would leave him.

Crooks has a dream that is unlike anyone else's. He grew up on a farm
with only white people around him and his father was always unhappy
about him playing with other white kids. It is only now that Crooks
understands why his father disliked him playing with the white kids
and that is because of the unfair relationship between whites and
blacks in America in the early years of the 1900's. The whites
persuaded each other that they were superior to the Black race and so
they had priority over the Blacks. Crooks wishes that he could be
treated as an equal like many other Blacks did, but also he just wants
to own a small plot of land and farm it without harassment from Whites
and the authorities who are also biased against the Blacks. Crooks is
a cripple and is lonely but the reason that he does not base his life
around this dream of his is that he has seen far too many men go
crazy, "I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ever'
time a whore-houseor a black game took what it takes". This is why he
is intelligent enough not to think, that if all that he can think
about is his dream then it will happen.

Dreams in 'Of Mice and Men' are very important as they portray the
characters deepest thoughts and what they really feel and we can also
see that things like dreams control men in bad times. The 'Great
Depression' abruptly ruined many innocent and hard working men's
lives; this is how many dreams started up.
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