Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Life is an array of emotions and experiences. At times it blesses us with experiences that instill feelings of happiness and joy, in which we are able to celebrate life and all it could offer us. Other times life hits us in the face, letting us endure hardships, sadness, depression and loss. Most may argue that Of Mice and Men is either intended to celebrate the joys of life or meant to be a depressing book. Yet what most fail to see is that Of Mice and Men portrays both aspects of human life through the mutual friendship of two uncommonly men, George and Lennie, the dream they both share, and the sudden calamity that befall them.
Relationships are an important essence of life. Humans need relationships because we are dependent on each other to survive. Babies need their mothers to feed and nurse them, and friends need each other to support, comfort, sympathize, and understand them. The friendship between George and Lennie outlined the core of Of Mice and Men, and although it’s sometimes idealized and exaggerated throughout the novel, there is no question of its sincerity. Lennie thinks of George as his only friend, his guardian, someone who he can trust and depend on, someone who had accepted him for who he is despite his childlike tendencies. Every time he did something wrong, his only thoughts would be of George’s disapproval. “I done a real bad thing. I shouldn’t have did that. George’ll be mad. An’… he said…. An’ hide in the brush till he come. He’s gonna be mad.” (pg. 92) On the other hand, George thinks of Lennie as a constant source of frustration, and as he frequently mention in the novel, “God, you’re a lot of trouble. I could get along so easy and nice if I didn’t have you on my tail,” (pg. 7) someone who he would be better living without. Yet, he had taken responsibility of Lennie’s welfare and is clearly devoted to him. George never took care of Lennie out of pity, he did it because he needs the companionship. You see, George needed Lennie more than Lennie needed George. Lennie’s innocence and childlike behaviors softened the heart of the hardened, cynical George.
Dreams have the power to give hope and comfort for people to continue living even in the harshest of conditions. A man lost in a jungle or dessert would struggle to survive rather than accept his fate due to his dream of being reunited with his loved ones. The setting Of Mice and Men took place during the Great Depression in the US, where high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement struck the population. Many were forced to live a hand to mouth existence, and lost hope in becoming more than what they are. Of Mice and Men emphasizes the loneliness and powerlessness of men during the Great Depression through two characters,...