How Does Steinbeck Present The Theme Of Freedom In Of Mice And Men

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In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the idea of agency and its ability to allow freedom is represented through various characters. Of these characters, Lennie, Curley’s wife, and Crooks exemplify the inability to achieve the American Dream due to the lack of power they have in society. In the book, each character has some amount of superiority over the other, yet they all share oppression. While they may be above one, someone is still superior to them. Steinbeck ultimately shows the similarities between those that are discriminated against in society, and how their chance of freedom and independence is limited. These three characters are discriminated against in the story and occasionally are discriminated against by one another. Crooks …show more content…

For example, Crooks wants to be treated equally. When Lennie first presents Crooks with the idea of his dream farm with George, Crooks shows interest and asks if he could join them. After Crooks rebuttals in disbelief over Lennie and George’s dream farm, Crooks inquiries, “... If you … guys would want a hand to work for nothing-just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to” (76). Although Crooks did not have a prior dream that was known, his wish to escape and live a life of luxury demonstrates the desire to live another life. Curley’s wife’s dream is presented during her discussion with Lennie in the barn. She wished to be an actress, but her dream was shot down when her mother tells her she can’t do it. When she married Curley, her chances of fulfilling this dream were destroyed because she had to take care of the house. This displays her status as she only has one job in her life being a woman. Lennie’s dream is repeated several times throughout the story. His dream with George is somewhat tangible due to his being friends with George. Lennie’s death symbolizes the lack of power disadvantaged people have in their …show more content…

Steinbeck, along with their dreams, includes the reality of their lives. Crooks, despite wanting to live on the farm with Lennie and George, decides to not fulfill this opportunity, knowing that it was never tangible. At the beginning of chapter 4, when Crooks’ living space is described, Steinbeck includes, “He was more permanent than the other men” (67). With this description and Crooks’ decision to not pursue the farm, his reality is embodied. Due to not having the power in his life to escape, he would never have the ability to leave. Curley’s wife, even though she had more power in her life than Crooks, her dream of leaving and becoming a performer was almost palpable. This sorrowful reality takes place in the barn with Lennie when she tells him about her aspirations. Her death symbolizes the closeness she had to freedom, yet her limited power, both physically and metaphorically, makes up her fatal and sorrowful end. Similarly to Curley’s wife, Lennie’s reality is symbolized by his death. Lennie, of all three characters, had the closest chance of freedom. George and Lennie were able to find a stable jobs, yet because of his disability, he wasn’t able to maintain it. George’s ability to end Lennie’s life displays the lack of power Lennie had. George repeated the story of their dream farm, yet he knew that they were never going to be able to achieve it. He

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