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Of Mice And Men: Four Major Themes Essay, Research Paper

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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