In a society, everyone has dreams and hopes for their future, but they may not always come true. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is an insightful story that embodies an important message about human desires. Dreams and hopes will be shattered in the face of reality. The relationships between the two main characters, George and Lennie, as well as the character of Curley’s wife’s, support this them. The message can also be seen through the use of setting and symbols in the text.
George and Lennie, like any other migrant workers in the time of this novel, had created their own American dream. The two wanted to be able to “live off the fatta the lan’…an’ have rabbits’ ” (Steinbeck 14) on a little piece of land that they could have for
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Another character who shows that dreams are destroyed by reality is Curley’s wife. She “‘Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes’…coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me’ ” (89). What Curley’s wife had wanted before her marriage was to be a movie star and live famously in Hollywood with everybody knowing who she was. She had met a guy who thought she had talent, and her hopes of going to Hollywood were larger. But now, reality strikes. The man never sends a letter to her about acting, and her dreams of acting are crushed. She marries Curley, and traps herself in a lonely and unloving marriage, with nothing to keep her company except her broken hopes and dreams.
A setting in Of Mice and Men that is as meaningful as any character is where Crooks, the only black on the ranch, sleeps. Crooks made the harness room his, “a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” (66). Crooks’s isolated living quarters are the conditions that both made and broke his dream. Alone and separated from all the other workers, Crooks has possessions that are both scattered across the floor and lined up neatly on an apple box. In his attempt to fill up the space in his room with other objects, a reader can see his desire of having someone else’s company for a change. However, as the only black person on the ranch, he is separated from all