Of Mice And Men Essay Example

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Free essay of mice and men

Of men and mice is a tragic fiction written by John Steinbeck in the mid-1930s. This story has a tragic, sentimentalistic, and rustic tone to it. The story explores the predatory nature of human existence and the impossibility of fulfilling the American dream. It further explores the imbalance of social power in American society.

Above, this is the story of friendship between George and Lennie, the poor migrant workers who dream of owning a ranch in the depression-era America. The story spans four days, beginning Thursday evening and ending Sunday morning.

Lennie and George are the protagonists with a unique friendship between them. This is registered by all other characters in the story who note having never seen such close relationships between migrant workers before. The biggest challenge that the duo face is surviving their oppressive, poverty-stricken circumstances and making themselves financially stable.

Lennie’s inability to stay out of trouble at work complicates George’s dream of buying a farm. Readers learn at the outset that the protagonists have been together since childhood and that their relationship has been tested frequently. However, it is seen that they win every test they face.

They have been friends for so long that their conversations are almost ritualized, with the most important ritual being George describing the farm they plan to buy one day, down to the vegetable garden and rabbits. We discover throughout the novella that nearly every worker dreams of owning land, but George and Lennie are the only ones who dream of owning it together.

Because of their rarity, Lennie’s death is even more tragic as George loses his friend and his dream of a better life.

After the first section, George and Lennie’s dream begins to be overshadowed by the reality of ranch life. The suspicious nature of their boss and the aggressive nature of Curley (son of the boss) bring both the protagonists together even more closely. 

However, by numerous turn of events, it becomes evident that the greatest threat to the workers is not directly from those in power but each other—the frightened and isolated individuals on the ranch who are pitted against one another.

Toward the end of Section 5, Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife as he strokes her hair, bringing the novel nearer to climax. It must be noted that the character can’t be blamed for this incident. Instead, it is the isolation and fear that are at play here. Most importantly, mistrust between the two makes way for the unfortunate incident and ultimately seals Lennie’s fate.

The rest of the story shows George and Lennie searching for Lennie’s hiding spot by the riverbed. And they continue talking about their future farm like they did countless times before.

Lennie remains unaware of his impending fate, but George has no doubt that this will be the last time he shares this shared dream, and he knows his hope for a financially stable life elsewhere will soon be extinguished.

As George kills Lennie to prevent the search party from finding him, Lennie is destroyed, but their extraordinary friendship is also. Despite the idealized nature of this friendship, the isolation, mistrust, and fear of the migrant working class succeed in crushing it.

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