Symbolism in Of Mice and Men
Symbolism is a person, place, or thing which has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings, as well. There are many instances of this throughout Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Symbolism in books allows characters, places, and things to have many meanings and help explain the main points and themes of the book. This helps Of Mice and Men show the themes of innocence, loneliness, fidelity, dreams, Lennie’s strength, euthanasia, and discrimination. John Steinbeck’s use of symbolism helps the story have a deeper meaning with the use of symbolism with many characters, animals, and places.
There are many uses of symbolism with the characters in Of Mice and Men. The character Lennie shows innocence throughout the entire book. He shows innocence with the quote from George, “Hell no. He just scared her. I’d be scared too, if he grabbed me. But he never hurt her. He jus’ wanted to touch that red dress, like he wants to pet them pups all the time.” (pg. 43) This shows his innocence because he never wanted to hurt the woman, he just wanted to feel her dress because he loves to touch soft things. This quote from Lennie also shows his innocence, “I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along.” (pg. 6) This shows his innocence because he thinks that it is alright for him to rub a dead mouse because it feels good.
Another character that is used in a symbolic way throughout the story is Crooks. Crooks shows loneliness with many quotes in Of Mice and Men. One of those quotes is:
S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy ‘cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books . Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody- to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets lonely an’ he gets sick.” (pg. 72)
This shows Crooks’ loneliness because he is telling Lennie how bad it is to be alone. The other quote is “Come on in and set a while.” (pg. 69) This shows Crooks’ loneliness because he wanted to spend time with someone.
George is one last character in Of Mice and Men that is used in a symbolic way. He shows fidelity with the quotes, “It ain’t so funny, him an’ me goin’ aroun’ together,” George said at last. “Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to eachother after a little while.”(pg. 39-40) This shows George’s fidelity because because he stayed with Lennie ever since Aunt Clara died and basically take the place as a parental figure. Another quote is “’Course he ain’t mean. But he gets in trouble alla time because he’s so god damn dumb. Like what happened in Weed-.” (pg. 41) This shows George’s...