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Hopes And Dreams In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1103 words - 4 pages

Hopes and dreams are huge factors of the development of modern society‒technology is being re-evaluated, theories that seemed impossible are being considered and new ideas are embraced. Dreams inspire many people who are willing to go beyond the old standards of society and challenge what is normal. Even so, during the Depression, unlike today, dreams were not always welcomed and hopes were often crushed. The characters in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck can attest to these things. Yet, these characters found ways to use their hopes and dreams as forms of discipline, as a way to form strong relationships and as an element which distinguishes the main characters from the other characters.
Discipline is used most often to help in the achievement of goals. Human beings are prone to indulge in the luxuries of life rather than attain a seemingly impossible dream. George Milton and Lennie Small, two characters from Steinbeck’s novel, are united together as they pursue the American Dream. They often imagine owning a farm where they work for no one but themselves, “‘… [living] offa the fatta the lan[d]’” (Steinbeck 57). However, such a dream does not come without hard work. George, Lennie and eventually Candy, set certain goals in order to be able to pursue their utopia of the farm. They need to earn the money needed for the farm, plan and organize the future to prevent bankruptcy and find a way to purchase the land before time runs out. With these goals in mind, George recognizes the need to spend their meager earning wisely and save their money. For this reason, George doesn’t indulge on the finer things in life. For example, George, although fully capable, does not drink himself to death or spend the night in a cat house like some of the other ranch hands. Even though he is accepted into the community of workers at the ranch, he is still loyal to Lennie and their dream. It is equally important to mention that Lennie is also quite devoted to the dream due to the fact that he has been promised that they will own some rabbits. In order to keep Lennie out of the trouble that he has been known to cause, George uses the rabbits as method of discipline. He says, “‘But you ain’t gonna get in no trouble, because if you do, I won’t let you tend the rabbits’” (16). As a result, Lennie often reminds himself to follow George’s orders if he wants his wish to come true. As seen in both Lennie and George, dreams most often require the use self-control, perseverance, and, in particular, discipline in order for us to obtain them.
The pursuit of a common goal is an event that most often requires work from like-minded people. Characters in Steinbeck’s novel are bonded together by their common interest, the American Dream. For instance, Lennie and George are complete opposites, and seem like unlikely friends. However, not only do they plan to spend their futures together, they also plan to work together throughout their pursuit of the imagined farm. Candy...

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