Of Mice and Men

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Futility of Dreams in ‘Of Mice and Men’:

- Soledad – means loneliness
- George and Lennie have each other – unlike many other workers, this sets them apart from the rest and gives the reader hope that they may succeed in achieving their dream. - Their dream is one that is shared by many other characters in the book – The American dream – is one based on self-reliance. - Reason for these dreams is dissatisfaction with their lives. - When Candy’s dog is shot, Steinbeck is foreshadowing (warning the reader of a future event) Lennie’s death. because Lennie is like George’s dog! - STRUCTURE: This novel is cyclical: it begins and ends in the same place. Steinbeck is trying to show us that there is no hope, and no use in having a dream, because it will never be achieved. You will just end up where you started. - SETTING: From the context – the novella is set during a time of depression in America, a very futile period. - The Ranch- a very lonely, isolated place. It represents the futility of the workers lives, that no worker has ever gone on to achieve ‘the dream’ after working on the ranch. - INTERPRETATIONS: Author’s possible intention- to show that it is possible to have hope in the most futile situations, that you should always have a dream. - Others- Dreams never come true; there’s always a futile side to a dream that no worker has ever gone on to achieve ‘the dream’ after working on the ranch. - The word "dream" is never used in the book in reference to anything like a hope or aspiration. This is because the characters never regard their hopes and ambitions as impossible things to fulfill – they see them instead as concrete and realistic plans.

Arguments for and Against:

NOT FUTILE:
- Dreams act as motivation, forcing them to live and work, with no families, no responsibilities, why else would they continue to get up in the mornings? Also, at the end when Lenny dies, George makes sure he is thinking about the rabbits etc, therefore keeping the dream...
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