Themes in of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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There are many themes in Of mice and men by John Steinbeck. There is the theme of brotherhood and friendship. Lennie and George against all odds are close friends, brothers in a way. They take care of each other in different ways. George takes care of Lennie and tries to keep him out of trouble which is a very difficult task but one which he takes on nonetheless. Without him Lennie has noone and probably wouldn’t last long, even if he went and lived in a cave. And George does get something from Lennie – he gets companionship their friendship is what sets them apart from the other guys that works on ranches. “An’ why? Because… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why”. Without their friendship there would be no book. You get to read a lot about how George and Lennie interact with each other.

Segregation is also in the book. There is the obvious one: Crooks the negro stable buck is set apart from the others because he is black, he isn’t even allowed to sleep in the same bunkhouse as the other ranch workers. But others in the story are set apart from the group as a whole. Curley’s wife is ignored by everyone, the only woman on the ranch and she has noone to talk to. There is a lot of prejudice towards the two aforementioned characters. Other characters whom people feel prejudice against are Lennie, for his disability and Candy, who like his dog is getting old and will soon have outlived his usefulness.

Another theme present is the one of innocence. Lennie has the mind of a small child, he is very innocent and naïve. He doesn’t realise what he’s doing most of the time. How can he be guilty of a crime when he hasn’t done anything harmful on purpose? He doesn’t know his own strength. He doesn’t know much at all. One thing he does know is that George looks out for him and he is very loyal towards him. In the outsider’s chapter he gets very agitated when Crooks implies that something might have...
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