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Essay/Term paper: Of mice and men: four major themes

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World Literature

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Of Mice and Men: Four Major Themes


"Of Mice and Men", by John Steinbeck, is composed of four major themes.
These themes are the value of dreams and goals, moral responsibility, social
injustice, and the bond of friendship and loyalty.

The value of dreams and goals are that they provide hope and the desire
to keep going in life, rather than laying down to die. When Lennie is feeling
depressed in the woods he asks George to tell him about the "dream farm" again.
This is the farm that Geore and Lennie hope to own someday. Even though this
dream seems almost impossible at the time it still generates enough hope to
keep Lennie and George going. When George starts talking bout it Lennie gets
all excited and happy and so does George. Another example of the power of
dreams is when Candy over hears George and Lennie's "dream farm" and becomes a
part of the dream. Candy goes from a depressed sad additude to a cheerful
excited one. He now has hope of doing something and it came from the "dream
farm". A final example of the value of dreams and goals is when Crooks hears
of the farm. Crooks is a lonely black man who has no future, but when he
starts to think of how he can be a part of the dream he also gets happy and
excited, until his dream is crushed.

Many people of good character have to honor certin moral responibilites.
George is bond by his own moral to take care care of Lennie. No one makes him
do it, he just does it because it feel like the right thing to do. Candy felt
like he neglected his moral responibility to shoot his own dog. Candy felt
real bad inside because it was his job to shoot his dog but instead Carlson
shot him. This shows that when a person goes against what is moraly right to
them , they hate themselves for it. At the end of the story George is forced,
out of moral, to shoot Lennie. It was the right thing to do, and even though
it almost killed George inside to kill his best friend, he still did it.

Social injustice is when a person or a goup of people feel they are
better than people who are different by race, inteligence, age, sex, or other
differences. Curley is rude and mean toward Lennie for the sole reason that
Lennie is a big guy. Curely dosn't like big guys so he singles out Lennie and
attacks him. Another good example of social injustice is Crooks. Crooks has to
be alone all the time because he is black. When Crooks tells Miss Curley to
leave his room Miss Curley threatens that she can get him linched. This reduces
Crooks to a big pile of nothing and crushes Crooks dreams of going to the
"dream farm". Crooks only responds with a series of "yes mam" 's then becomes
beyond depressed. The power that one person can end another's life with a
single lie without and evidence is a prime example of social injustice. A final
example of social injustice is Candy being old. He is treated old and useless,
if he stuck up for Crooks about the Miss Curley lie no one would believe him.
Miss Curley laughs at Lennie, Crooks, and Candy because to her they are all
below her.

The bond of friendship and loyalty is a force that keep people looking
out for each other, rather than themselves. When Lennie is getting beat up by
Curley and Lennie, Lennie wasn't fighting back because he was being loyal to
George's request for him not to make trouble. George sees lennie getting beat
up and tells Lennie to fight back out of friendship. When Crooks starts
telling Lennie that George might die or get hurt Lennie gets mad. He feel that
someone, Crooks, might hurt his friend and almost fights Crooks to defend his
friend. Candy shows loyalty when he tells Miss Curley that he would stick up on
Crooks behalf if she tried to lie and yell rape.

Steinbeck used these four themes to show what problems America was
faceing at the time. A time of racial injustice, loss morals, tainted
loyalties, lost hope and smashed dreams. The people needed their eyes opened
to what is important to everyone as a whole rather than to one. In the battle
to rise up in the world, people rarely care who is on the bottom and why they
are there.

 

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