Of Mice and Men - Critical Evaluation

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The main theme of ‘Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck is fate . The techniques he uses such as the title , repetition , echoes and symbolism are very successful in putting across his very pessimistic views on this theme .

The two main characters , George and Lennie , share a dream . George dreams of a piece of land of his own . Independence . A couple of acres , a cow and some pigs . Lennie dreams of tending rabbits . With the title ‘Of Mice and Men' , Steinbeck is telling you that this dream whilst on the verge of realization , will be destroyed by fate .

It relates to Robert Burns' poem ‘To a Mouse' . Burns and Steinbeck share the same pessimistic views on fate . In ‘To a Mouse' Burns shows that he believes that just as your dreams are about to come true , ‘The best laid schemes o' mice an' men ,' fate will always strike , ‘ gang aft agley ‘. The last two lines ,' An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain , for promis'd joy! ‘, show that Burns believes that you're worse off after your dreams have been crushed than you were before

In the story , almost anyone could be the mouse although the most obvious is George .
I think this is a very well chosen title for this short story as if you know the poem you know more or less what is going to happen .
Steinbeck's technique of repetition is effective in that it builds up to the climax of the tragedy . The mouse Lennie had was dead . He had killed it unintentionally when petting it . This situation is repeated further on in the story when Lennie is given a pup by Slim . Lennie had been playing with it and had hit the puppy for biting him . You know that an incident like this is going to be the downfall of George and Lennie .

The episode in Weed also hints on future tragedy . Lennie sees a girl wearing a beautiful red dress and , child-like as he is , he wants to touch it . He grabs the dress and the girl lets out a loud scream . He panics and all he can think...
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