Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ and Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’ explore the fundamental themes of freedom, companionship and following your ambitions. (QUESTION). ‘Of Mice and Men’ is set during the Great Depression in which George and Lennie explore the realism of freedom and hardships by hoping to one day have their own farm. In contrast, Chris from ‘Into the Wild’ achieves ultimate freedom by choosing to run away and live in the wild.
Both texts explore different perceptions of freedom. Steinbeck’s novel demonstrates how everyone’s perception of freedom is suppressed. George and Lennie’s idea of freedom is to have their own land and shield themselves from the peril of the world. However, they are denied this freedom because of their
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Despite the difficult situations that Lennie imposes on George, George describes his gratitude towards Lennie’s companionship through a sentimental tone when he states “...With us it ain’t like that...We got somebody to talk to...” This highlights that through a time of great difficulty where people avoided each other as expressed through the quote, “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other” George values Lennie’s companionship. In contrast, Penn’s film explores Chris’ distaste for human companionship in order to achieve his ultimate freedom. He expresses this through his aversive tone, “You don't need human relationships to be happy...” Chris demonstrates that companionship isn’t necessary to have happiness and that it can be found in nature. His viewpoint of companionship is a result of his parent’s physical disputes. However he later realises that he was happiest when in the company of other travellers. He expresses this through the technique of regretful tone as he says “Happiness only real when shared”. Therefore both texts signify the importance of companionship.
Both texts promote the idea of following your ambitions to ultimately lead you to happiness. George and Lennie strive to have their own farm but their dreams remain unfulfilled. In the end George has to kill Lennie due to circumstances beyond his control. MnM takes its title from a famous poem by Burns’, “To a Mouse”, which contains the couplet, “The best laid plans