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Fantasy And Reality Within Of Mice And Men And The Things They Carried By John Steinbeck

2139 words - 9 pages

Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) and The Things They Carried both contains events that trigger people to escape the reality of the moment into fantasy and show the psychological battles within. Escaping into a fantasy, you have the ability to change a horrific event into “happily ever after.”


Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) two migrant workers, George and Lennie, who share a dream of buying buy a few acres of land they can call their own, farming it, and, keeping rabbits. George took on the role as Lennie’s caregiver. Lennie is big and does not understand his strength. Lennie’s condition could be considered psychosis. Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind, often described as involving a loss of contact with reality. People with psychosis may have one or more of the following: hallucinations, delusions, catatonias, or a thought disorder. (Wikipedia) Lennie’s psychosis causes George and Lennie to suddenly leave their job and run away. When a traumatic event occurs, Lennie hallucinations and escapes into the fantasy world. Lennie’s mental capabilities hinder him from distinguishing fantasy from reality.

The Things They Carried (O'Brien, The Things They Carried) is a story written about the Vietnam experiences shared by Tim O’Brien. The emotional burdens carried by the soldiers are tremendous. Each soldier carried special items to remind them of who they are, where they came from and the people they cared about. I think the goal of these tokens was to help keep the soldier’s minds off the terrible war. The special items represent; their responsibility for protecting their home and loved ones. It is common and understandable when a current event or trinket triggers a memory. The memory allows them to escape the cold reality of war and into a fantasy world.

Of Mice and Men Lennie has a mental disability that causes him to hallucinate. In The Things They Carried, A special item carried or an event triggers a memory that they escape the reality of war and into a fantasy world.

Irrationality vs. Superstitions
Superstitions and irrationality are both considered a belief in something you cannot physically see. “Superstitions give people a sense of control in chaotic situations.” “A belief in a force external to ourselves that can be invoked to help us may not be merely comforting, then. It may be a powerful psychological lever we can pull to access forces within ourselves that actually affect our ability to achieve what we want .“ (Alex Lickerman)
In Psychotherapy, irrationality is defined as the tendency and leaning that humans have to act, emote and think in ways that are inflexible, unrealistic, absolutist and most importantly self-defeating and socially defeating and destructive. (Ellis)

The Things They Carried As a good luck charm, Henry Dobbins carries with him, his girlfriend’s pantyhose around his neck. “They kept him safe, a protective power. They gave him access to a spiritual world, where things were soft and...

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