Dreams Vs. Reality In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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In the novella Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck incorporates many thematic ideas into his text. He includes the ideas of dreams and reality, the nature of home, and he difference of right and wrong. He develops these ideas throughout the story. The first theme incorporated is the idea if dreams versus reality. Lennie and George have a plan. They plan on getting their own ranch together. They want to have a house with a couple of acres and a few animals and a vegetable garden but most importantly, Lennie wants rabbits! He says they will live “off the fatta the lan.” (Steinbeck 49) Their dream is to have their own place: somewhere that they can call home. They are transient workers and because of Lennie’s bad behavior, they often must leave their…show more content…
However, when Lennie kills Curley’s wife, George pityingly kills Lennie. After Lennie kills her, he feels so awful that he starts hallucinating a giant bunny and his aunt. They tell him how he never does anything right and how he should never tend rabbits. The giant rabbit says, “Tend rabbits, You crazy bastard. You ain’t fit to lick the boots of no rabbit. You’d forget ’em and let ’em go hungry. That’s what you’d do. An’ then what would George think?” (Steinbeck 143) Lennie knows that George will be angry and he is so scared that he can’t tell the difference between dreams and reality. “When Lennie dies, the teleological dream of the Edenic farm dies with him, for while Lennie’s weakness doomed the dream it was his innocence that kept it alive.” (Owens) Lennie killing Curley’s wife ruined their dream of getting the ranch and snapped George back into reality. He knew deep down that he would never get the ranch. He says to Candy,” —I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.” (Steinbeck 134) He knew it was too good to be true but sometimes sanity leaves people when they’ve had enough. Lennie’s innocent mental state and George’s nurturing of Lennie are what kept their dream alive. But, after Lennie died, all of it was…show more content…
Because of Lennie’s mental state, he does things that he can’t control. He kills mice, a puppy, and even a woman. In the 1930’s, when this story takes place, they didn’t have mental hospitals, and if they did, they wouldn’t be for a lower-class worker like Lennie. No one cared about them. Lennie was too strong and he didn’t know how to control what he did enough to not kill those animals. When he gets scared he holds on to whatever he is holding and won’t let go. Does his mental state justify his killings? Should George have killed Lennie before he killed another human? George knew what Lennie was capable of. He had killed all those animals and he was very strong, who wasn’t to say he wouldn’t accidentally hurt someone badly. “The unavoidable truth is, however, that Lennie, be he innocent “natural,” uncontrollable id, or simply a huge child, is above all dangerous.” (Owens) Children are known for having tempers. They have trouble expressing their feelings in words. Lennie is a lot like this and with his enormous strength, it is difficult to control him. Of Mice and Men shows many thematic ideas that relate to the world today even though it is set in the 1930’s. Lennie and George’s relationship and their development throughout the story is shown through these ideas: dreams and reality, the nature of home, and the difference between right and
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