Of Mice and Men is based on 1930’s America during the GreatDepression. The American dream was no more, and the land ofopportunity had become the land of misfortune. It was during thistime that many farmers best hope for a new life lay in California. TheAmerican Dream is the idea of an individual overcoming all obstaclesand beating all odds to one day be successful. This subject is thepredominant theme in John Steinbeck’s novel.
This is a novel of defeated hope and the harsh reality of the Americandream. Steinbeck’s naturalistic and unrefined style of writing ishelpful because of its ability to connect with his readers.
The most important dream in this novel is that of the two main characters Lennie and George. They are poor, homeless, migrant workers who although their dream is essentially the same, they both want it for different reasons. They desperately cling to the notion that they are better than other workers who drift from ranch to ranch because, unlike the others, they have a plan for the future and they have each other. The two men are not unique for wanting a place and a life of their own, but they are unique in that they have each other.
Lennie wants to live somewhere where no one would try to hurt him andget mad at him if he does something wrong. More importantly Lenniewants to tend the rabbits because he likes touching things that looksoft so the idea of being allowed to look after an entire family oflive rabbits completely delights him: ‘”An’ put some grass to therabbits,” Lennie broke in. “I wouldn’t never forget to feed them. Whenwe gon’ta do it, George?”’
Lennie’s dream holds the whole novel together. We hear it at thebeginning, when it sounds like fantasy. We hear it in t…
…ho were moving to America were hoping for.I think that Steinbeck’s use of dreams is very effective and found itvery interesting trying to find the link between the dreams and themood of the time.
There are three main messages that Steinbeck is portraying in thisnovel. The first is of the loyalty and friendship which exists betweenGeorge and Lennie and the rarity of this in 1930’s working man’sAmerica. The second is of the hostile economic environment of Americaduring this period. Thirdly is of the loneliness and isolation whicheach character experiences and the dream of a better life. The novelalso illustrates the importance of moral responsibility, and veracityof social injustice. I believe that this is a reflection ofSteinbeck’s thoughts on the subject of the ‘American Dream’ and thefalse promises of the American government at that time.