1 November 2010
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men is the story of George and Lennie and how they travel together from ranch to ranch, and how they someday hope to attain a farm of their own. Loneliness is a common theme associated with this novella, that ranch hands are the loneliest men in the world. Lennie and George are two opposites yet both of them take fill some sort of need for the other. Even though George insists that he would be better off without having to look after Lennie, their very happiness lies within each other. Because Lennie’s mental capabilities don’t allow him to think properly, he is the hindrance that keeps them from achieving their dream farm, and ironically George is incapable of reaching true happiness without Lennie.
The theme of the novel really begins to be explained when the famous line Lennie loves so much is said for the first time:
“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 don’t got nothing to look ahead to.” (Of Mice and Men)
George goes on to explain to Lennie that they are different than those guys. He tells Lennie that they do belong some place, and that they do have a future and someone who cares about them because they have each other. George and Lennie have bigger dreams than going to whore houses and spending all their money. They don’t want material happiness, but only that which comes from within. They save their stake so one day they can have a little place of their own to be proud of.
Throughout Of Mice and Men, many people continuously inquire of George and Lennie’s travels together. Slim says, “Funny how you an’ him string along together […] Hardly none of the guys ever travel...