Hopes and dreams help people survive even if they never become real. How true is this for the characters in
‘Of Mice and Men’? The novel ‘Of mice and Men’ was written by John Steinbeck and is set in Salinas and Soledad California in the 1930s when life was hard for so many people because of the great depression. A major theme of John Steinbeck’s novel ‘of mice and men’ is the American dream and the drive to attain it. There are two major themes in ‘of mice and men’ novel that is foreshadowed by the reference to Robert Burns’ poem called “To a mouse” the word mouse within the title means loneliness and dreams. (BBC Bitesize, 2014:2) This poem contains the lines, “The best laid plans of mice and men/ often go awry” Most of the main characters in “Of Mice and Men” harbour dreams and have plans that never come true. George, Lennie, and Candy all share a doomed dream of buying their own farm and living off the land. George often thinks about how his life he could have had as an unrestricted bachelor and free of the burden of caring for Lennie. “If I was alone I could live so easy,” he says. (Steinbeck, 1965:12) However, Lennie has his own private dream of living in a cave with his own rabbits but Curley’s wife regrets the missed chance to become a movie star. The main theme throughout this novel is that people must learn to reconcile their dreams with the reality to accept that everyone’s best laid plans often die. Each of the characters plans go askew not because they give up on them but because the forces beyond their control destroyed each one of them. Due to the bleak economic outlook of the Great Depression coming to terms with your broken dreams was the reality nearly everyone in America faced. The American Dream is written into the Declaration of Independence: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...
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