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Comparative Analysis of Cast Away and of Mice and Men

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John Steinbeck along with Robert Zemeckis explores the concept of hope and relationships in their respective texts, ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Cast Away.’ Both authors create characters in isolation in order to validate that the imagination and aspirations are key to success and survival, and it is through relationships that allows one to develop a sense of hope and achievement. Imagination will guide one to success, however the thought of relationships provides one with the motivation to undergo change.

In order for one to remain optimistic, a sense of belonging and friendship is required. Relationships are imperative for hope and succession, and should be utilized for the better. George and Lennie are the only characters within Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men who endure a meaningful relationship, and their optimistic ideas of owning a “little house,” even in the hardest of times suggests their dedication and courage as friends. Through dialogue, sees Chuck Noland marooned on an uninhabited island following his crash. At the beginning, Chuck has a poor attitude towards his chance of survival taking into consideration of his environment and what little equipment he has. With the aid of Chuck’s imagination and character development, the creation of Wilson the volleyball sees him continually talking to the ball, ultimately acting as his only friend and partner, guiding him in a time of despair and through his task of attempting to survive physically, mentally and emotionally. The relationship between the two creates a sense of security and hope. Contrastingly, Crooks is discriminated against within the ranch group, due to his physical appearance. His lack of confidence, no aspiration or goals, and toneless attitude can be said to be a result of his little connection or relationship to any peers. Again, Chuck apparently dying on the island resulted in Kelly Frear’s poor attitude and misery, and through character development, his return brought great happiness upon her, ultimately suggesting that relationships are detrimental to one another’s wellbeing. It is through various characters that allow both texts to explore the theme of hope, and implies that relationships provide one with motivation, enthusiasm and positive mindsets.

The use of imagination and to have ambitions is imperative to one’s success and accomplishment. Hopes and dream play an important role in many characters, and when lost, it seems as though part of their humanity goes, also. Much of Chuck’s and Wilson’s relationship revolves around the symbol of the rope, and throughout, Chuck uses Wilson to make verbal determinations about it-where to find more; whether he has enough. The rope was the reality that Chuck almost used to take his own life, and the rope inevitably saved him in the end. When Chuck finally decides to leave the island in search for help, he wades into the water with the rope in one hand and reaching for Wilson in the other. Wanting to hold onto his imagination as it was Wilson that had helped him to survive through hardships, but in order to escape, he needed to maintain a firm grip on reality, the rope, not letting his imagination lead him astray. The implication was that if he were to let go of the rope, his hope of finding safety would quickly disappear. Similarly, Lennie is fixated on the idea of their “little place.” Created through the characters and their imaginations, the two are solely driven by the hopes and dreams of a better future, but it was ironically the factor that Lennie was killed by. The use of imagination is crucial in order to have ambitions and aspirations, but the reality should not be overlooked. Furthermore, Chuck used his imagination to create the character of Wilson with his bloody hand print, ultimately helping him survive. Curley’s Wife had the idea of being “in the movies,” and consoling her dream and aspirations to Lennie helped her cope through her lonely time and missed opportunities. Again, Candy admires Lennie and George’s plan to “live off the fatta the lan’.” This ambition of joining his peers helps the “swapper” during his period of loneliness following his dog’s death. Aided by surrounding characters, both authors suggest imagination is important during the toughest of times, however it is crucial for reality not to succumb to pure imagination in order to survive and maintain control.

Steinbeck along with Zemeckis, successfully explores the idea of hope in their respective texts, and suggests that relationships, imagination and aspirations are key to succession. The authors imply that hopes and dreams arise from the use of the imagination, but it rather those around you that allow you to fully commit and achieve ambitions and desired goals. 

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Comparative Analysis Of Cast Away And Of Mice And Men. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
“Comparative Analysis Of Cast Away And Of Mice And Men.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
Comparative Analysis Of Cast Away And Of Mice And Men. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2022].
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