Of Mice and Men

Topics: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck Pages: 3 (1000 words) Published: July 4, 2012
“Distinctive ideas are at the heart of every novel.” In your view, what are the distinctive ideas explored in Of Mice and Men? Explain how these ideas are developed throughout the novel.

Themes are integral and fundamental aspects which render the literature valuable. They usually provide insight into the author’s perception and internalisations of the world in which they live. Set in California during the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, by Steinbeck, illustrates the hardships experienced by individuals as they roamed the countryside seeking a way of living. The story focuses particularly on the two main characters, George Milton, a small, wiry, quick-witted man, and his companion, Lennie Small, an ironically named lumbering giant. Within this classic, Steinbeck addresses the correlation that existed between loneliness and the unattainable American dream, demonstrating the distinctive and unique idea illuminated in Of Mice and Men.

Loneliness is an emotion which is destructive and powerful and may result from inadequate levels of social relationships. It has an ability to sever ties with loved ones as well as disassemble societies which may facilitate a descent into anarchy. This notion is made palpable through the close study of the text, Of Mice and Men where Steinbeck applies various literary techniques to establish the personal and societal implications resulting from loneliness. The author utilises the hyperbole, “guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world,” to firmly introduce and establish the theme of loneliness and to erect the atmosphere and mood of the novel. During the Great Depression people left behind their homes, friends and family, in search for work. As more people moved, the sense of social togetherness decayed and societies at large became disconnected and disillusioned. This is evident in, “a few miles of Soledad,” where Soledad derives from the Spanish word for solitude or loneliness. Immediately,...
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