Examples Of Freedom In Of Mice And Men

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Home is where the freedom is. Of Mice and Men is a novella set in Soledad, California, in 1930s America. George travels with his friend Lennie from ranch to ranch in search of work, in hopes that one day they amass enough money to purchase one of their own. In the beginning of the story, they arrive at a ranch near the Salinas River, and meet other migrant workers. Several of these men have one thing in mind, and that is to have their own ranch, where they can work independently, on their own schedule, and be in control of their own lives. Candy, an older man who lost his hand, fears he will soon be thrown off the ranch. Crooks, the black stable buck, lives his life alone in the harness room, pondering his life. All three men dream of having …show more content…

While describing his vision for the ranch, he frequently mentions increased stability: “‘We’d jus’ Iive there. We’d belong there. There would’t be no more runnin’ round the country and gettin’ fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we’d have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunkhouse’” (Steinbeck 57). While living as migrant worker implies instability, having one’s own land results in comfortable permanence. George says that he would not have to “run round the country” and sleep in a bunkhouse. This illustrates the freedom of choice that only comes with ownership of a ranch. He can settle down and live on his own terms. He also stresses how having his own ranch would mean living on his own schedule, and being free from the demands of others. George says that if “'they was a carnival … or any damn thing’” coming to town, then “‘we’d just go to her,’” and that he and Lennie would not be obligated to “‘ask nobody if we could’” (61). Living as a migrant worker for several years has resulted in George being exhausted of constant authority, and having to ask for permission before partaking in anything. He realizes that when he is in possession of the ranch, he would not “have to ask nobody” for approval. This expresses an increase in personal freedom. A similar concept applies to Candy, the old …show more content…

In the midst of his diatribe against farmhands hopeful for land, he says that “‘every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ‘em gets it. Just like heaven … Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land’” (74). Comparing land to heaven immediately emphasizes land’s significance, and practically apotheosizes it. If working as a migrant worker was a favorable job, and provided happiness and independence to all, then why would men desire their own land, and worship it like heaven? While Candy and Lennie were talking about the dream-ranch, “Crooks interrupted brutally. ‘You guys is just kiddin’ yourself. You’ll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you won’t get no land. You’ll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box’” (75). Crooks understands that it’s difficult to leave and follow one’s own path when one is working on someone else’s ranch. He says that Candy and Lennie will work on the ranch “till they take you out in a box,” which implies that they won’t leave until they die or become useless to the ranch. In fact, one could compare the “box” to a coffin. While working on one’s personal property brings heavenly joy, working on another’s ranch results in emotional, or even physical, death. This reflects a complete lack of freedom. However, when one works on their own land, they can choose

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