Of Mice And Men Theme Analysis

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Pages: 4

Although there are jubilant moments in life, most people have experienced pain and suffering. John Steinbeck focuses on the despondent aspect of life in his novel Of Mice and Men. It tells the story of George and Lennie, two best friends, who start work at a new ranch. After a few days, Lennie, who is mentally impaired, accidentally kills the wife of the boss’s son, and George kills him out of mercy before he can be lynched. Through his use of characterization, symbolism, and tone, Steinbeck develops the theme of loneliness in a world where everyone is out for themselves. The actions and dialogue of the characters reveal that they try to act strong, but they are in reality lonely. After Curley falsely accuses Slim of being with his wife, the other men ridicule him: “Carlson laughed. ‘You God damn punk,’ he said. …show more content…
As Carlson tries to convince Candy to let him shoot his dog, he says, “He’s all stiff with rheumatism. He ain’t no good to you, Candy. And he ain’t no good to himself. Why’n’t you just shoot him, Candy?” (Steinbeck 44). Candy’s dog represents the weak ranch hands. The dog is helpless and cannot take care of himself nor do any work on the ranch, so the solution offered is to kill him. The men who cannot work as well as the others are often fired and cannot find work. In both situations, the dog and the men are exterminated because they are weak and useless. On the other hand, the strong are able to survive. When Slim tells Carlson about his dog’s puppies, he relays that he “drowned four of ‘em right off. She couldn’t feed that many… I kept the biggest” (Steinbeck 35). The puppies symbolize the ranch workers, and their mother depicts society. The mother dog cannot support all her puppies, just as society is unable to sustain all of the people in it. As a result, only the strongest, who come out on top, are able to survive. These symbols illustrate the reality of