Allegories in 'of Mice and Men'

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 4 (1695 words) Published: November 6, 2010
In the novel, ‘Of mice and Men’, John Steinbeck uses allegory to represent different themes and messages. An allegory is a story, poem or a picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. While reading Steinbeck’s book I noticed different metaphors such as the usage of animals and Curley’s wife. Throughout the whole book the reader can notice many animals mentioned such as rabbits, mice, the puppy and the old dog. Curley’s wife is also a sort of symbol. She represents the way in which the women were treated and looked upon in those days. The animals and Curley’s wife all symbolize different things in life in the 1930’s USA. They all symbolize the hopes and the dreams that the characters share which motivates and drives them forward in life. It is what makes them wake up in the morning, hoping for their dreams to come true. In the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck decided to use allegories, metaphors, symbolism and similes to present show his message and idea to the reader in a way which will make the reader not want to set down the book until it is finished.

Throughout the book ‘Of Mice and Men’ Steinbeck mentions and uses animals to symbolize different things in our everyday life. One of the animals that Steinbeck mentions a lot is the mice. “Lennie reluctantly reached into his pocket. His voice broke, ‘I don’t know why I can’t keep it. It ain’t nobody’s mouse. I didn’t steal it. I found it lying right beside the road… ‘I wasn’t doing nothing bad with it, George. Just stroking it.’ George stood up and threw the mouse as far as he could into the darkening brush, and then he steeped to the pool and washed his hands… ‘They was so little’ he said, apologetically. ‘I’d pet them, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they were dead – because they was too little’. (pg. 9-11). In the book, mice are a metaphor for George and Lennie’s hopes and dreams. Lennie doesn’t understand what is really going on in the...
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