Of Mice and Men is a classical novel by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck addresses the importance of dreams and hopes, and elucidates how they can become a reason of survival. The author also imparts the cruel reality of the world where dreams are unreachable and they often don’t come out to be true.
Most of the characters are facing the tough realities of life, yet they are hopeful because they have given a meaning to their lives by creating dreams. These dreams and hopes act as a light at the end of the tunnel. The main characters Lennie and George are two immigrant workers, who are in search of employment. Their future seems uncertain as they have no resources or means to create it yet they have a vision which enriches their hope and keep them going.
Lennie and George dream is to own a farm and live a free live that will protect them from the world (Steinbeck 14). George is so passionate about the idea that he already knows which land he going to buy. This dream has become their resilience because it is holding them together and keeping them positive through no matter what they go through. They take pride in dreaming big and believe that they are unique and special from other migrants, who have no family or home nor a shared vision like them (Steinbeck 14).
Most of the characters in this novel are seen to have a desire to fulfil their dreams. Their dreams could be different yet their longing is same. Candy has been working hard on the ranch for many years, but as the story proceeds it is revealed that is not very happy with his life. Candy does not have a dream of his own, but when he finds about George and Lennie dream of owning a farm, he joins their plan and offers to contribute a huge amount of money so that they can accept his offer (Steinbeck 59).
Curley’s wife dreamt of being a movie star but she ended up marrying a man who doesn’t love her. She is hopeless and lonely and therefore she desires for friendship with other men around her, so that she can talk out her issues but she is often misunderstood and rejected (Steinbeck 87).
Dreaming is an important aspect of human nature. Steinbeck stresses that without dreams and hopes life would be meaningless. Dreams give purpose to our lives and keep us motivated to work hard. George and Lennie apparently have nothing in life, but they are not discouraged. They have a plan and vision for their future which enriches their hope and keeps them moving together. They never lose hope even in hardest times and see their dreams as the light at the end of the tunnel.
George and Lennie’s dream is a central theme and an inspiration of this story. It is so strong that it has become their resilience. This dream becomes an inspiration for Candy and Crooks and they wish to join them. Crooks is reluctant at first, but after seeing their zeal he is so inspired by their vision that he wishes to join them even if he gets nothing in return (Steinbeck 76).
Steinbeck also highlights he harsh reality of the world where dreams often doesn’t come out to be true. Dreaming is an important characteristic of human nature, but it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily come out to be true. Often times the world turns out to be opposite of our imagination and eventually we realize that dreams are simple not attainable.
It is sad the at some point in the novel, every character realizes that their hopes and dream many not be achievable. Crooks has a vey significant role in this aspect. He is realistic about George and Lennie’s dream. He believes that George and Lennie will not be able to achieve their dream of owning a land because he knows the cruelty of this world. He has seen many migrants before who aim to transform their life, but eventually they lose their hope (Steinbeck 74). Crooks has experienced racial discrimination; therefore, he had lost his faith in the world and the people. Crooks gets inspired by the George and Lennie at some point but his standpoint remains same that they many not be able to achieve their dream.
Soon after every character accepts the reality that their dreams are unattainable which ultimately proves that crooks is right. As the novel proceeds, it is revealed that George becomes isolated just like other workers which tells that he has realized the bitter truth. On the other hand, after killing Curley’s wife Lennie realizes that may not be able to tend rabbits.
Steinbeck tries to accomplish two main objectives in this novel. First, emphasizes that to make life meaningful, one must dream. Dreams give purpose to our lives and keeps us motivated in tough times. However, it is also important to realize that our dreams and hopes many not turn out to be true. But, this should not discourage and stop us from trying hard. We must enrich our hopes with strong visions.