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The relations of George Milton and Lennie Small are centered on American Dream which they defined as “Someday…get the jack together…have a little house and a couple of acres…”.
The tragic end of Lennie and George’s friendship has the profound impact on the overall themes of the novel as it symbolizes collapse of their dreams.
Steinbeck is willing to show that dreams and desires seem to value more for George and Lennie than true friendship.
(p.57) Further, when Lennie claims they need different colored rabbits, George says: “Sure we will. Millions of ‘em” (p.18) Through this ideas Steinbeck reflects on the impossibility of dream and defines it as unattainable and unrealistic. every damn one of ’em’s got a little piece of land in his head. (p.88) American Dream was the failed effort for many to be the tail of the lion.
Even Crooks argues, “I have seen hundreds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads . In the novel, John Steinbeck shows that the nature of human existence is predatory and one cares only of oneself when it comes to survival.
Their journey is of prototypically American ideal when George awakens that dream is impossible and admits Crook is right: the paradise of safety, liberty, and contentment can’t be found in the world. The authors show George and Lennie come close to their dream, but they are still unsatisfied.
Nonetheless, the author symbolically points American Dream fails as the realistic possibility: “…the cream is so God damn thick you have to cut it with a knife and take it out with a spoon”. Curley’s wife admits that “better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion”.
“Of Mice and Men” written by one of the best American writers John Steinbeck tells a tragic story of two men – Lennie Small and George Milton – whose life path coincides with the Great Depression years.
In the book, Steinbeck examines predatory nature of human existence, sad illusion of American Dream, loneliness and corruptive power of friendship.
Crook realizes he is vulnerable as he is African-American with a crooked back, but he prefers to indicate Lennie’s weaknesses to zero his own.
In this scene, the author reveals the profound human truth that oppression is not always associated with the strongest hands.