close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Themes and Symbolism in of Mice and Men

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

Of Mice & Men Response ‘Of Mice & men’ deals with a number of important themes including isolation, discrimination, racial prejudice, friendship and loneliness. Choose at least two of these and discuss how the author explores them.’ Introduction: ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a written text published by Pascal Covici and authored by American writer, John Steinbeck. The novel is based on hardships that two middle-aged men go through while working on an old ranch during the 1930s, it details the hurdles they overcome together while pursuing their dreams of one day owning a ranch. Throughout the novel, George Milton, whom could be described as a sharp, short and quick man (pg. – ) is set on working towards his ambitions while watching over one intellectual handicapped Lennie who could only be described as animal-like, whose biggest weakness is his strength. While including what it means to have a dream, Steinbeck also explores a variety of various techniques to help identify themes associated with the characters and storyline. Touching on several themes some of which are discrimination, vulnerability and the Great American Dream. 

 The theme of the Great American Dream is firstly introduced at the start of the novel when Steinbeck entails a description of the farm they both hope to one day own together, giving the readers a brief understanding of the setting taking place. The setting of the novel allows the audience to understand the situation of which both Lennie and George stand in.  The novel is set in the 1930s during the Great Depression, history’s worst economic downfall and during this time individuals struggled to find stable jobs to earn money. The representation of which both Lennie and George’s dream holds much meaning as it symbolises the extent of freedom and control they have in their own lives while moving around looking for work. It is seen evident that Steinbeck use setting throughout the novel to link Dreams to the theme of ‘American Dream’. This gives off the idea that individuals who pride in their work and put in labour make it possible to achieve somewhat of a success in America. For characters in Of Mice and Men, predominantly the men of the ranch, having a dream gives them hope that one day all their hard work will pay off and they’d be of rewarded. 

Throughout the duration of the novel, Lennie’s vulnerability is showcased a numerous amount of times through the use of foreshadowing. His characteristics and actions play role major role in the novel, as it is evident that his innocence, violent tendencies and the little to no constraint he has over his own brute strength foreshadows the death of his character in the end. ‘ I was jus’ playin’ with him… an’ he made like he’s gonna bite me… an’ I made like I was gonna smack him… an’… an’ I done it. An’ he was dead’ (pg. 78). Steinbeck also writes how Lennie and George get kicked out of Weed, he explains ‘well he seen this girl in a red dress. Dumb bastard like he is, he wants to touch ever’ thing he likes…. the girl lets out a squawk, and that get Lennie all mixed up, and he hold on cause that’s the only thing he can think to do’ (pg. 40). At the begging of the novel, Lennie unintentionally kills the small mice he’d found; this could be an indication of which death may occur later throughout the novel. And unfortunately having no sense of control over his own strength, Lennie’s character furthers to be of the cause of the death of both the puppy and Curley’s Wife. Curley’s Wife death seems to be the misfortune of Lennie’s actions and like the death of both the mice and pup, Curley’s Wife was the end fate of Lennie. These are important in the novel because it indicates the beginning of a climax, it also shows the reader that Lennie’s state of vulnerability pushes him to become uncontrollable which foreshadows the belief of the audience that these actions are going to lead Lennie a crisis. 

Symbolism can be seen used on serval occasions throughout the novel to help display the theme of Discrimination. This is mainly seen evident in the characters of Crook and Curley’ Wife. When Steinbeck firstly introduces Curley’s Wife into the novel, her character isn’t given a specific name, this minor gesture can be seen as the representation of the lack of respect women received during the 1930s. (pg.—-) this can be seen as an ide of how Curley’s Wife was treated in the novel, and due to lack of respect towards herself and stereotypical traits, her character received an amount of discrimination on behalf of her female gender. Steinbeck’s description of the character Crooks can also be seen as a form of discrimination. His character is described as a black, stable-hand man who’s lives of with ranch horses. The character admits his emotions of loneliness and tends to steer clear of other men of the ranch due to his current outsider status. (pg. –) As Curley’s Wife character has control over Crooks, she destroys any hope that he’d had of one day owning a farm. Instead of retaliating, Crooks continues with his life and accepts the fact that his racial features conclude the discrimination of his character. The role of Crooks character symbolises hardships that of African Americans endured during this time, giving this idea that blacks are less superior to whites. Even though both Crooks and Curley’s Wife are two very different characters, it is evident they both share emotions of loneliness while receiving amounts of discrimination throughout the novel. Steinbeck uses the technique symbolism in such a way that represents a greater meaning. It can be seen partaking in various ways throughout the novel and allows for a greater understanding of characters. In the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, John Steinbeck uses several narrative techniques to capture the attention of an audience while expressing the themes of Vulnerability, Discrimination and The American Dream. These techniques are vital in the novel as it helps the audience gage a better understanding of what is happening in the novel and additionally allowing a for a greater understanding of the themes that the author had used.   

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Themes And Symbolism In Of Mice And Men. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/themes-and-symbolism-in-of-mice-and-men/
“Themes And Symbolism In Of Mice And Men.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/themes-and-symbolism-in-of-mice-and-men/
Themes And Symbolism In Of Mice And Men. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/themes-and-symbolism-in-of-mice-and-men/> [Accessed 18 May 2022].
Themes And Symbolism In Of Mice And Men [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 May 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/themes-and-symbolism-in-of-mice-and-men/
copy to clipboard
close

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

    close

    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample
    close

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

    close

    Thanks!

    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now
    boy

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper
    exit-popup-close

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!

    exit-popup-print

    Professional writers and researchers

    exit-popup-quotes

    Sources and citation are provided

    exit-popup-clock

    3 hour delivery

    exit-popup-persone