Q:

What is the focus of the novel "Of Mice and Men"?

A:

John Steinbeck's classic novel "Of Mice and Men" revolves around three thematic meanings: the elusive nature of the American dream, the idealized friendships between men and the cruelly dispassionate nature of life. The tale of George and Lennie shows the best and worst of human nature, and both of these men exhibit the depths and heights to which humanity can extend.

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The ultimate cruelty of human life is an important theme in "Of Mice and Men." Just about all of the people in the book are profoundly lonely and isolated, and each of them wants a friend but will settle for talking to a stranger. Even when their isolation weakens them, many of them try to destroy those who are even weaker than themselves, as when Crooks focuses on Lennie's flaws or when Curley's wife threatens to get a lynching mob after Crooks.

One reason why the tragedy of George and Lennie's story runs so deeply is that it is clear they have lost a wonderful dream. They plan on living on a farm together, but that plan is not an easily attainable dream, especially for migrant workers. Even the sort of friendship they envision is not possible to sustain.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some of the similes in "Of Mice and Men?"

    A:

    In "Of Mice and Men," there are several similes including, "On the sands of the banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray stones" or "...drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse." The first simile compares the sands of the banks to little gray stones and the second simile compares the long gulps that Lennie drinks to a horse drinking.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of foreshadowing in "Of Mice and Men"?

    A:

    One example of foreshadowing in "Of Mice and Men" is in the beginning, when Lennie is holding and stroking a dead mouse. This scene is foreshadowing the climatic event near the end of the novel, when Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife. "Of Mice and Men" is full of foreshadowing of this event.

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  • Q:

    Where can I read "Of Mice and Men" online?

    A:

    The full text of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" is found on many schools' websites, such as the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District. Schools that use the book in their literature curriculum may post the text online as a PDF.

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  • Q:

    What was life like for the migrant workers in "Of Mice and Men"?

    A:

    Life is very difficult for the migrant workers in "Of Mice and Men," according to a plot synopsis from SparkNotes.com. Life is very strict on the ranch, which is why George must lie to the boss, promising him that Lennie is not going to be a problem. All of the workers must deal with the boss's son Curley, who is possessive of his flirtatious wife.

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