Of Mice and Men

1006 Words Jul 11th, 2012 5 Pages
“Distinctive ideas are at the heart of every novel.” In your view, what are the distinctive ideas explored in Of Mice and Men? Explain how these ideas are developed throughout the novel.

Themes are integral and fundamental aspects which render the literature valuable. They usually provide insight into the author’s perception and internalisations of the world in which they live. Set in California during the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, by Steinbeck, illustrates the hardships experienced by individuals as they roamed the countryside seeking a way of living. The story focuses particularly on the two main characters, George Milton, a small, wiry, quick-witted man, and his companion, Lennie Small, an ironically named lumbering giant.
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The author portrays how the American dream can serve as shelter for individuals against the pelting hardships. In addition, Steinbeck demonstrates how individuals also implement mirages to sanction themselves from both physical and psychological trauma. This is exemplified when Candy utters “you know where’s a place like that?” in response to George recitation of their future haven. The rhetorical question emphasises the level of interest displayed by Candy and how it has deterred him from the sombre death of his “best damn sheep dog”. Steinbeck portrays how the image has soothed Candy’s psychological distress and proved as a catalyst for Candy’s miraculous recovery. Furthermore, Steinbeck also portrays the nature of the American, that of impracticality and irrationality. In the departing scenes, George is forced to shoot Lennie and this is explicitly made apparent as, “Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.” The sibilance of s’s, allows for the production of harsh sounds, inducing a harsh atmosphere. In this scenario, George is immediately hit with the realisation in which he will inevitably continue his life

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