Of Mice and Men Critical Lens

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English 3
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Naïve Falsehood Versus The Practical Reality

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a novella filled with complex underlining themes and ideas about society and the intriguing concept known as the American Dream. A well-known quote once said by George Orwell states that “Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.” What this quote is saying is that most people have their share of fun in life and enjoy themselves as much as they can, however on a realistic and practical note life isn’t full of happiness alone because along with the fun comes trials, tribulations, and only the younger in mind or naïve people fail to realize this. This quote is evident in many places throughout the novel. As we read we see that only the wiser of the ranch hands, were able to recognize reality and come to an understanding that achieving the American Dream is not all fun and games and there is a strong possibility they may not even reach their goal.

A very good example of a naïve character blind to the truth is Lennie. Lennie is projected as one that consistently demonstrates inappropriate behavior, is mentally unstable and far more important than that, a very complex character. Throughout the novel we see that Lennie unfailingly was always an optimistic character. He never sought to see the negatives in things and under all circumstances always seemed to see things differently. Even as things seemed hopeless, Lennie always imagined otherwise that the dream was still possible. In the novel, we see that even after Lennie kills Curley’s wife he does not realize the severity of the situation and is blinded by a false image that everything in life is full of happiness. Lennie does not understand that this is a clear hindrance in his plan to achieve his own dream. On page 105 extending onto 106 we see that even as George is about...
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