One of the major themes of John Steinbeck‟s novel Of Mice and Men is that having a dream breeds hope, friendship, anddetermination, enabling one to strive onward in life with a sense of importance. The first example is Candy‟s loss of his dog and his joining Georgeand Lennie‟s dream of owning land.
A second example which shows that having a dream breeds hope and friendship is Crook‟s memory of his father‟s chicken ranch. His illness stems from completeisolation, total discrimination.
Whereas Candy, Lennie, and George all look totheir future for their dream, Crooks looks into his past, remembering the sense of joy he had as asmall boy on his father‟s chicken ranch. His illness is a bitterness caused by those discriminating againsthim.
In a quote, Steinbeck displays Lennie having a conversation with Crooks on the topic of why he isn't wanted. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black...” (Steinbeck 68).
It is shown when Lennie asks,“Why ain't you wanted? Even though Lennie cared about Crooks, others haven't.
Of Mice and Men focuses on the struggles of two migrant workers, George and Lennie, in the 1930's as they try to achieve their dream of owning their own land.
In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, he reveals through his characterization and conflict that loneliness is the result of discrimination. At that time, women were not seen as equals, only as trophy wives and someone to take care of the kids and do housework.At that point in history, African Americans were very much hated because of their small differences.Although African Americans had been free at that time, they were still strongly disliked by most people and definitely treated differently.Crooks‟ longing for equality in the form of companionship is reiterated later in thesame chapter when Crooks bitterly tells Lennie, “Spose you couldn‟t go into the bunkhouse andplay rummy „cause you was black. At that point George, with “eyes full of wonder,” says, “I bet we could swing her” (p.42), andsuddenly the dream has become a little more solidified, a definite possibility.George, Lennie,and Candy realize that this dream may come true “[r]ight squack in one month” (p.44).Georgeresolves to save every cent possible to pay off the little ranch.With the knowledge that theirdream can be realized, Lennie, Candy, and especially George not only bond as good friends anddevelop an optimism about their future, but they develop a determination which will enable themto improve their situation in their present lives. We‟ll fix up that little old place an‟ we‟ll go live there” (p.45).Crooks explains to Lennie that the “white kids [came]to play at our place, an' sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them were pretty nice”(p.46). He dreams of being able to communicateand be with others on an equal basis. Don‟t make no difference who the guy is, long‟s he‟s with you. A third significant example that having a dream breeds hope, friendship, anddetermination is George‟s and Lennie‟s dream of having their own place.He explains to Lennie that his “‟ol man didn‟t like” thewhite kids playing with Crooks. For George the idea ofowning his own place would allow him to keep Lennie from getting into trouble.He tells Lennie, “I never knew till long later why he didn‟t likethat. But moreimportantly, this dream makes George strive toward a goal.But I know” (p.47), implying that Crook‟s father was discriminated against because of hisskin color. George‟s dream is not even close tobecoming a reality until Candy offers to contribute three hundred and fifty dollars to the cause.