Western Themes In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men tells the story of two friends who were doing their best to survive in an economically challenged world. From dealing with mental issues to monetary issues, main characters George and Lennie find themselves in the midst of hopes and far away dreams as they travel to find work and meaning. We first meet George and Lennie in the Western part of the United States, leaving the reader with the impression that this story will consist of cowboy tales and American dreams but, while some Western themes can be spotted in this book, I do not suppose that Steinbeck’s reasoning for writing this book was to tell the story of Westerns dealing with the repercussions of the Great Depression but rather to raise moral questions and…show more content…
Though we are never given a true background on how George and Lennie met other than George telling Slim, “He and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara… When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while,” we do see that both Lennie and George care for each other immensely. As one reads through the book, one sees Lennie’s dependence and trust in George and George’s loyalty to Lennie. At the end of the story, we learn why Lennie is the way he is while he is shown hallucinating his Aunt Clara and a rabbit speaking to him, while George seems surprised when he sees Lennie talking into thin air, he is one of the few, if not the only one who knows that something is seriously wrong with Lennie. George consistently stayed by his side and though it may seem wrong to some, put Lennie out of his misery because he knew that the others would torture him. The message that Steinbeck was trying to send appeared to be that of unconditional devotion to another. Moreover, I think Steinbeck was attempting to raise moral questions and pin point the flaw of the lack of concern for mental illness and how when gone untreated, it can hurt more than just the person affected. As a reader, this book made me question whether modern day ideas such as euthanasia is acceptable in an attempt to help an individual and others and
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