What Is The Theme Of Freedom In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

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John Steinbeck lived his life through a time of crisis and desperation, and his personal opinions were reflected through his writings and displayed to the public. By the time that John Steinbeck published the novella Of Mice and Men, he was already a well-known author and writer. Before he published Of Mice and Men he published a series of short comedies entitled Tortilla Flat published in 1935. The seriousness and vulgarity of Of Mice and Men was quite a shock to the fans and frequent readers of Steinbeck’s work. Steinbeck’s work Of Mice and Men is one of the most commonly read books in high schools across America; it also happens to be one of the most banned books in America, due to the discrimination and all around obscenity of the novella. …show more content…
Particularly, the Great Depression had a great effect on John Steinbeck’s work showing his frustrations with freedom versus confinement, justice, and man vs. nature. To illustrate his dismay, Steinbeck uses the theme of freedom versus confinement to show how his main characters live and survive together. Though George and Lennie seem to be running free and living on their own will, the pair are not free at all. It is almost as if they are running on a hamster wheel, continually leaving, but always end up going back again. In the end of the novella they are right back where they started, running from a ranch in Weed because Lennie does not know moral codes. When they ran from Weed they were running into the exact same situation, akin to walking on a treadmill, always going, but never getting anywhere. The ranch where the majority of the novel takes place is no example of freedom, there is always somebody watching everything the …show more content…
In the beginning of the novella, Candy is distressed because everyone is hounding on him to put down his old dog, “Carlson said thoughtfully, ‘Well, looka here, Slim. I been thinkin’. That dog of Candy’s is so God damn old he can’t hardly walk. Stinks like hell, too. Ever’ time he comes into the bunk house I can smell him for two, three days. Why’n’t you get Candy to shoot his old dog and give him one of the pups to raise up?’” (Page 45) This is seen as foreshadowing on the death of Lenny. The similarity to how Candy felt to have closure that he should have been the one to put down his dog, not some other man. This is a parallel to how it was George who rightfully was the one to “put down” Lenny in the end. Candy feels that he did not get justice because he was not the one to put down his own dog, one that he had had since the dog was a pup. Some might say that Curley’s wife got the justice she deserved, with all the flaunting that she did, but Steinbeck did this intentionally. He was upset with how his society was treating women, how it was always their fault. Steinbeck gave her a death that would seem to be deserved when it never really was. The poor girl just wanted to talk to somebody without having to be judged or hit on. All in all, the dog, the puppy, and the girl did not get any justice, unlike Lenny. Lenny got not what he deserved, but what he needed. He needed the release

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