Of Mice and Men is set along the Salinas River a few miles south of Soledad in the fallen world of the Salinas Valley, which Steinbeck places "east of Eden" the Promised Land is only a painful and illusory dream. This land is populated by "sons of Cain", men doomed to walk alone. One of the major themes that comes from this is loneliness, or fear of apartness. One of the themes of Of Mice and Men is that men fear loneliness, that they need someone to be with and to talk to who will offer understanding and companionship.
Soledad is a Spanish word and translates into English as solitude or loneliness. This country is one of such loneliness that George and Lennie stand out sharply because they have one another or, as George says, "We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.
The dream of the farm symbolizes their commitment to each other. George and Lennie's dream represents a desire to challenge the curse of Cain and fallen man they want to break the pattern of wandering and loneliness and return to the perfect garden. ...
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...the highway and it ends with two men, George and Slim,
climbing back up from the river to the highway. The fact that George is not left alone has great significance. In the fallen world of the valley, where man's commitment to each other is the only
understandable and obtainable dream, the fact that in the end of the story as well as in the beginning, two men walking together causes this book to end on a strong note of hope-the central theme of this story, man's commitment to man (George's commitment to Lennie), did not die with Lennie.