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Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck Essay

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During the 1930’s, many Americans were victimized by the Great Depression that had fiercely gripped the nation. Millions of people had no steady income and were forced to travel all around the country in search of a job that might support them for a little while longer. Most of these people had a similar goal; they all had a dream of reaching a heavenly place where they don’t need to worry about anything, and they have everything they’ve ever wanted. This is also what George and Lennie feel like in the novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. These two men wander around Northern California in search for a steady job that would allow them to settle down, and possibly even get them enough money to buy their dream land. However, their shared dreams vanish at the end of the story when George is forced to put a bullet into the back of Lennie’s head. Of the themes Steinbeck portrays, there is one that is the most significant. No matter how hard people try to achieve their dreams, fate will inevitably destroy them.
Steinbeck uses symbolism to show George and Lennie’s efforts to achieve their dream. One of the symbols used in this novel is shown in the scene in the barn, where Lennie accidently kills his pup, and tries to hide it from George. “’I di’n’t know you’d get killed so easy.’ He worked his fingers on the pup’s limp ear.” (86) The pup that Lennie kills symbolizes the dream of the land that he and George are trying to reach. Lennie tries his hardest to try and keep the pup alive for as long as he could, however, he eventually fails to do so, and kills the pup (dream), just as he does to everything else he tries to keep alive. The pup is also much bigger in comparison to everything else he tries to keep alive, but it is s...


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...sents him not dealing with real life and what is actually plausible and possible. This shows that reaching this dream of his is not possible in real life, because he stopped dealing with real life (cards). His dream land would always stay in dreams and would never appear in the “game of life.”
All of the foreshadowing and symbolism that Steinbeck provides in this novel all point toward a central theme of loneliness, hopeless dreams, and ultimate failure. This all comes together to show that even though people work an extreme amount to achieve their dream, their dreams will eventually be destroyed by fate no matter what. Steinbeck used many literary devices perfectly that were all interwoven skillfully in a beautiful manner. Each of the different literary devices are drawn from various paths but are connected to each other, and they all lead to one universal theme.



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