Similarities Between Of Mice And Men And The Gift Of The Magi

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At some point in life, everybody has had dreams, hopes for the future, whether it be as a child, teenager, or adult. In the novel Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck and the short story “The Gift of the Magi” written by O’ Henry, hope is used as a theme and plot device driving the story forward. However different, in these stories the theme of hope/achieving goals can and is seen, George and Lennie's hope to have a better life vs. Della and Jim’s hope for a nice Christmas, how they go about to achieve their hopes and the result of their efforts.
The difference in circumstances in these stories for the characters is as apparent as black and white, one pair is searching for gifts in hopes of getting each other thoughtful presents for the
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In the end of Of Mice and Men, George ends up putting down Lennie(killing) after he kills a woman. While they made enough money to buy land, start a new life and fulfill their dream they fall short because one of their reasons for working together and to start a farm is so that they start this new life together. “Le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now./Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.’/ And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again.”(Steinbeck 106). After depending on each other for as long as they did, to be separated like that, the reader may assume that at the end, George bought his land and lived there in sadness after the loss of his dear friend. Just like in Of Mice and Men, in “The Gift of the Magi” Jim and Della end up unable to fulfill their hopes/goals of having perfect, thoughtful gifts for each other. This is because when buying gifts for each other, not having enough money, they sold important possessions of theirs to afford the gifts. Not knowing that the other sold the object which the present is for. To elaborate, Jim sold his pocket watch to buy combs for Della’s hair, and Della sold her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s pocket watch. Selling these things make their gifts pointless except for being thoughtful gestures, this is where the endings differ; where the reader can only assume that George is deeply saddened by the passing of his dear friend because the story does not continue past Lennie’s death, it is written in “the Gift of the Magi” that while the presents now useless they still find wisdom in their blunder. “And here I

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