Animal Symbolism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Requiem for a Rabbit Animals, what are they? One may receive a very scientific definition, perhaps explaining that they are something like a living organism that can eat living substances, and that they have complex or intricate body systems. When people describe them, many say that they are foolish little creatures whose purpose only serves as maybe to work or even possess a friendship with humans in some cases. But what if there was really more than meets the eye, an even deeper connection that many fail to see on a day to day basis? Nature and animals are both crucially important aspects in Of Mice and Men. This can be seen constantly throughout this novel in which both animals and nature alike relate to people and even occasionally foreshadow…show more content…
One of the most important forms of animal symbolism that is represented in Of Mice and Men is held with rabbits. This animal in particular plays a huge role throughout the text as a sign of hope for Lennie. Steinbeck states "An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted. "An' have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we're gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages …" (Steinbeck 14). Lennie asks George to tell him of their dream farm with the abundance of animals that they will have and how great their life will be. He constantly chooses to have George tell this tale whenever things are getting rough or heated between the two in order to almost mend their relationship. For Lennie, this always manages to conjure up enlightening thoughts within his head whenever the farm, rabbits, or even any other soft and pettable animals are mentioned within the story. Much like with George, the farm may represent freedom and happiness, but, for Lennie, it is simply an entrance to soft animals in general—which is an independence and jollity in itself. While the rabbits for Lennie represent such a positive feature in his life, ironically, they also act as a parallel too. Lennie admires the rabbits and often ponders of taking care of them, but his inability to be gentle around other animals in general reflects the downfall of his fondness for them in the…show more content…
Lennie is excited about them because they'll be furry and silky to the touch, but it also is known that Lennie tends get a little too rough with whatever he pets. This also acts as a distinct parallel to the very unattainability of Lennie and George's dream in the sense that it is so impossible to achieve the perfect lifestyle without a complication coming in the way. This is much like how Lennie’s ideal life involves possessing an abundance of rabbits to pet, where in all reality this can never happen, since Lennie is incapable of being gentle with any soft, cuddly animal that he desires. In the end, the reasons that displayed animal symbolism included Candy's dog getting shot, which foreshadowed future events, the origin and meaning of Of Mice and Men, and the theme of rabbits. People sometimes take for granted the friendship that they possess with an animal that they love dearly. Life can be hard, difficult, and troublesome at times. Our dreams and wants help drive, fulfill, and give us hope. But no matter how many plans are made, the cards that are dealt must be
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