Of Mice and Guy
Set throughout the 1930’s in the Salinas Valley of California, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men catches the life and battles of lonely migrant ranchhands. George and Lennie, a not likely pair, take a trip together working for a subsistent living, and the only thing that keeps them going is their imagine owning a piece of land they can call their own.
Juxtaposed against the relationship and imagine George and Lennie are the terrible lives of other rootless ranchmen who have no hopes of a much better future, and Sweet, Crooks and Curley’s wife, who although have dreams, either have no one to share them with or have no hopes of ever reaching them. Plainly, the capability to dream is inextricably connected to having somebody to share that dream with.
Although George, a little and sharp guy, complains about Lennie who is large and awkward, he knows that the bond that exists in between them is unusual and important. Lennie’s simpleminded nature, specifically his love of petting soft things, continuously results in difficulty for the pair, and at times George grumbles “… if I was alone I might live so easy. I might go get a task an’ work, an’ no trouble … and when completion of the month come I might take my fifty dollars and enter into town and get whatever I desire … a gallon of whisky, or embeded in a swimming pool space and play cards or shoot swimming pool”( 11 ).
Yet his accessory to Lennie remains because he eventually understands that, while all individuals that deal with the different farms are totally free to do all these things, they are badly “… the loneliest men worldwide. They got no fambly. They do not belong no location. They pertain to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re pounding in’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.”
In truth, George’s notion of freedom and happiness, no matter how implausible, is having someone to mutually look after and to share a future imagine “livin’ off the fatta the lan'”( 14 ). Other men’s solitude and misery is put into stark contrast by their incredulous reaction to George and Lennie’s circumnavigating together. The ranch employer concerns George, “what stake you got in this person?” and Slim reveals marvel at their “traveling around together”(22; 34).
While is it uncommon for men to travel together, and for this reason to develop indicating friendships, it is even rarer for men to realize their dreams. In a sense, George and Lennie’s dream is an opiate that makes the harsh isolation of life more manageable. For others, such as Candy, a dream is absolutely nothing unless it is tangible.
After his canine, his only buddy, is eliminated since he was an ineffective “nuisance,” Sweet rapidly realizes that he deals with a comparable fate, for he, too, is old and maimed. Overhearing George recite the dream to Lennie, Sweet, although suspicious, sees his chance to secure a future and asks: “You understand where’s a place like that?”( 59 ).
As soon as George verifies the presence of such a location, Candy wants in and offers all his cost savings to George and Lennie: “I ain’t much excellent with on’y one hand … S’pose I shared you guys. Tha’s three hunderd … I ain’t much great, but I might cook and tend … and hoe …”( 59 ). Sweet undoubtedly has money to really recognize the dream all guys have of owning their own land, however until now, didn’t have anyone to share it with.
Paradoxically, The Negro stable buck, Crooks’ has his own little “space,” but just due to the fact that of the color line; other ranchmen ignore and shun him. A happy man, Crooks responds by keeping aloof from the other males and demanding that they keep their distance too. Crooks pulls down his guard only when Lennie, in his simpleminded unawareness of social mores, check outs him.
When Lennie unintentionally informs Criminals about the his dream, Crooks enjoy his own youth memories of the chicken ranch his old male had. Yet his experience has actually taught him to be skeptical: “I seen hundereds of males visited on the roadway an’ on the cattle ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads … An’ never a God damn among ’em ever gets it. Much like paradise. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s simply in their head” (74 ).
In his cynnicism, Crooks calls Lennie “nuts,” however his loneliness is so great that he is willing to listen to Lennie’s “crazy” talk. In reality, Lennie’s company shows him that when a man is “… talkin’ to another man it do not make no distinction if he don’t hear or comprehend … [he] can tell you screwy things, and it don’t matter. It’s simply the talking. It’s just bein’ with another man”( 71 ).
When Scoundrels recognizes that they already have the cash, his solitude and require to belong is highlighted, for he quickly asks if he can join them. Yet when Curley’s other half goes into the room and puts Crooks in his “place” by advising him of the color-line, Crooks realizes that such a dream is not his.
Curley’s spouse, similar to Scoundrel’s, has a place of her own however nobody to share her dreams with. Curley, the one in charge’s boy, is a jealous and pugnacious guy who keeps her shut away and challenges any guy who talks to her. Thus, as the only female on the ranch, she has nobody to speak with and bitterly grumbles to Lennie about her loneliness: “You can speak with individuals, but I can’t talk with nobody however Curley. Else he gets mad”( 87 ).
The ranchmen analyze her efforts to speak with them either as advances, for they see her as a “tart”, or as a threat not worth taking. The extremity of her solitude is exposed just when she satisfies Lennie, whose simple-mindedness, once again, allows him to talk to her without fear or restraint.
Although Lennie does not listen to what she is stating, it is clear that, like Crooks, she requires to be dealt with as a human being who has needs and vulnerabilities like everyone else, and she rapidly seizes upon her opportunity to share her imagine Hollywood fame(88-89). Yet her dreams are shattered, for Lennie, who likes to pet soft things, mistakenly eliminates her with his awkward strength while touching her hair.
While Sweet, Crooks, and Curley’s other half have either a space they can call their own, the means to purchase it, or a dream in their heads, what they do not have is having someone to share it with. In the end, ironically since of his love for Lennie, George needs to protect him from Curley’s vicious desire hunt him down like an animal; George must shoot him kindly in the back of the head while informing him about the farm they are going to buy one day.
George’s choice to kill Lennie is a choice to also eliminate his dream. But eventually, his dream implies nothing without Lennie. While Lennie’s fate is awful, he at least leaves the world with visions of living “off the fatta the lan'” and tending to his furry little bunnies with George ideal next to him. George, having actually lost Lennie, is left entirely alone and hopeless as he walks off with Slim to “blow his jack” in a pool hall drinking away a dream that is no longer beneficial.