The daily struggle of the working class, fear of loneliness and the reality of putting all your energy into plans that fail are the different themes relating to John Steinbeck's novel, "Of Mice and Men". The characters depicted by the author are individuals who are constantly facing one obstacle after another. The book illustrates different conflicts such as man versus society, man versus man, man versus himself and idealism versus reality. The book's backdrop is set in the Salinas, California during the depression. The two main characters include two men, George and Lennie. Supportive characters include a few ranch hands, Candy, Crooks, Curly, Slim and Carlson.
First of all, emphasis is placed on the daily struggles endured on a daily basis by the middle-class. Much like George and Lennie, they worry about having enough money to survive, for shelter and for clothing. Also, there seems to be the fear of loneliness that seems to surface throughout the novel. Despite the on going quarrels between George and Lennie, the two men are afraid of being alone on their own. In addition, it seems the two main characters find themselves in positions that are beyond their control. These are the conflicts one finds in this novel.
As previously mentioned, one conflict includes idealism versus reality. The middle-class in general, and George and Lennie specifically, illustrates the problems they face when dreams of a better life are short-lived due to the reality of circumstances encountered and the Depression. Also, the man versus man conflict is seen on a regular basis throughout the novel. The ranch hands indirectly put pressure on George to shoot Lennie. The ranch hands forced that Candy's dog be shot. Also, the novel sheds light on the inner conflict within certain characters. For example, George struggles with the caring for Lennie, or putting both himself and Lennie at peace for good by killing Lennie. Candy also fears that he, like his dog, will be cast aside...
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