Life Is Not A Bed of Roses
Life is not a bed of roses. People use this expression to stress the fact that there are and will be difficulties in life. John Steinbeck, in his novella Of Mice and Men, does not fall short of the same views. It takes place in the year 1937, a period associated with the Great Depression, and illustrates the hardships of the time, and more so those that laborers such as George and Lennie experience. Life proves to be full of disappointments for both men who are victims of harsh circumstances in more ways than one. The two have a dream to own a farm of their own but circumstance and fate robs them of their dream for a better life. This is a depiction of the lost American Dream during the Great Depression which lasts between 1929 up to the 1940s. The poem titled “This Is Not The Life” further depicts the hardships found in life. It clearly portrays the uncertainty and struggle associated with living during the Great Depression. Thus, both the novella and the poem explain that human dreams for a great future are subject to circumstance and fate, which most of the time collude against human success in life leaving only a trace of broken dreams, pain and misery.
Steinbeck inclines to unravel the plight of two migrant workers with a dream to purchase their own land in the future, where they plan to rear rabbits and keep livestock. As reality dawns on the two men, their lifestyle proves not to be as easy as they think. George states, “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to” (Steinbeck 8). Life is hard for ranch hands. In a way this statement seems to imply that loneliness is just as painful as poverty, if not more. Though George and Lennie have each other for companionship, they still face the harsh reality of poverty. The two main protagonists must work hard to attain the money needed to acquire the farm they dream of. They endure much hardship including moving from one ranch to another in search of employment. The line, “Keep your head above water” also relates to this situation (8). In a nutshell, this statement basically means to avoid succumbing to difficulties, whatever they may be. Persevering through any difficult situation will allow anyone to carry through with their plans for the future.
The townspeople of Weed, the farm in which they worked before, chase both men out when Lennie, for his love of soft things, stroked the fabric on a girls dress and does not let go. This causes the locals to think that he is assaulting the girl, thus banishing them from Weed. The two migrants walk many miles to the next farm in California after the bus drops them a long distance away from their destination. George explains to the employer that...