of Mice and Men Analysis
At its core, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck speaks volumes of the nature of humanity and the undying search for the American dream. Research papers that analyze Of Mice and Men focus on the characters and how the American Dream is woven into their lives. Custom projects on Steinbeck's work are written for you at Paper Masters.
- Throughout the course of the novel, the two main characters, George and Lennie, long to own a piece of land to farm for themselves and upon which to raise rabbits;
- Candy ultimately tries to share in this dream with them.
- Many of the characters they meet throughout their experiences have experienced the futility of a similar quest. Curley's wife, for example, is disappointed with the life she currently has, having wanted to be a movie star in her younger years.
The world in which the characters exist is one of great disappointment and hardship, and it is in their very nature to dream of something better yet to come.
Steinbeck also speaks to the nature of humanity and the tendency of individuals to be destructive, intentionally or otherwise. Part of this plays into the search for the American dream; in order for one person to move forward, others presumably cannot. Similarly, Lennie repeatedly shows great brutality in his actions, though it is often accidental. Early in the story, it is made clear that Lennie's disability does not allow him to foresee the consequences of his action; George notes that he loves petting soft things, but he often kills them without realizing what he is doing. In an argument, he crushes Curly's hand; he is accused of rape for being forward with a woman and touching her dress. He accidentally kills his puppy and, when Curly's wife tries to console him, he pulls her hair too tightly and she screams. In an attempt to keep her quiet, Lennie accidentally breaks her neck. George soon realizes that Lennie will never be able to control his actions and avoid these "accidents" so he displays the most stunning example of the cruelty of humanity and shoots his friend in the back of the head.