Of Mice And Men Symbolism Essay

Words: 926
Pages: 4

"Expectation is the root of all heartache" (William Shakespeare). Even the most promising expectations can go wrong, as they do for George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. George and Lennie live as migrant workers in a Great Depression-Era California. George assumes the role as caretaker of the immensely strong, mentally handicapped Lennie. They find their way to a ranch after being chased out of their old town, Weed, because Lennie had scared a girl into believing she was raped. They plot at the ranch to save up and buy their own land, their American Dream. Lennie mistakenly commits a murder; George tracks him down and is forced to shoot him, ending their American Dream. They were certain of their plans to achieve their dream, but it fails. Steinbeck, in the novella Of Mice and Men, uses symbolism and characterization to prove that the pursuit of the American Dream is ultimately hopeless and futile. The symbolism in the growing and receding light presents the appearance of hope for the American dream and its ultimate failure. When Lennie and George arrive at the ranch, they are prepared to work to earn their own land. This is false hope, for when they arrive at the bunkhouse “The sun threw a bright dust laden bar… and in and out of the beam flies shot like rushing stars” (Steinbeck 18). These …show more content…
Our lives often carry messages that are not direct, and symbolism and characterization parallel this in the novella. Many people during the Great Depression faced the challenges of having their dreams withheld from them. Today, the millions unemployed and/or homeless face those same obstacles. We must be aware that some people will never achieve their dream. Despite this, individually, we must not lose hope. We must remember that we cannot expect too much, or we will experience