Take a look at George and Lennie’s dream. Do you think that the dream had any opportunity of becoming a reality? What made it likely that the dream would fail?
From the very beginning ‘Of Mice and Males’, George and Lennie have their hopes set on ‘the dream’. They dream about getting a ranch together in the nation. Lennie gets incredibly interested and excited, as soon as animals are discussed. He has discovered his trigger speech, word-for-word. He discusses all of the animals he will care for, and how he will feed them:
” … a location for alfalfa, an’ that alfalfa is for the bunnies, an’ I take the sack and get it all fulla alfalfa and then I take it to the rabbits”.
Lennie is so enthralled, and has actually believed and talked about the dream a lot, that his speech was ideal, and was automated as soon as he heard any mention of a dream or the animals, especially bunnies.
The dream would likely stop working, as the story got the title from an earlier poem by Robert Burns, “The Very Best Laid Strategies Of Mice and Male”. This title depicts the concept, that no matter how prepared an idea or a dream is, the result, sometimes terrible or not what we anticipate, has currently been chosen.
John Steinbeck composed the story in 1937. The story is centred in a place called Salinas. We understand this, because the Salinas River is pointed out in the first line of the story.
George Milton, explained as a “smart little man” by Slim, later shows that intelligence without other values is worth absolutely nothing. Steinbeck made George in this way, to portray the concept that in almost all strolls of life, there will always be natural leaders, and that people emerging with authority, will be an imminent action.
Lennie is referred to as “jes’ like a kid”. Lennie might be child-minded, however is clearly observed as being “so strong”. He is arrested, and is unable to manage his own body and strength. This describes why he is not able to comprehend why the animals he has, all pass away. His strength overpowers their fragility.
There is a perfect description of the two guys:
“Both guys were worn denim pants, and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both brought tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders”.
George and Lennie are identically dressed. This portrays the ‘id’ and the ‘ego’ theme behind the novel. Although they are a perfect carbon copy of each other, stronger impact is created as we see the personality differences between the two, become more prominent as the story progresses. Lennie contains the ‘id’, also known as the desire, to do what he wants to do. George is different, as he contains the ‘id’ and ‘ego’ personality. He has the knowledge, the ego, to know whether his id is right or wrong.
At the start of the novel, the two men are in a place called Weed. They are forced to leave there, when they are being hunted down. This is because Lennie had clutched the dress of a girl, and would cease to let go. The girl shouted rape, and so if they were to live, they must leave, and seek life in another location.
Lennie was more enthralled and fascinated at listening to George tell him about the dream, and what they would own and how they would do things, rather than actually thinking about all of the things happening in reality. He knew what the dream was exactly, but he was more excited, when George told him:
“Why’n’t you do it yourself. You know all of it. / No … you tell it. It ain’t the same if I tell it. Go on … George. How I get to tend the rabbits”.
The story in the novel is based around the ‘American Dream’. That is the dream in which every man could strive for in the great country. The dream of all the ranch-hands was stability and eventually a place of their own. This place offered a hand of friendship and companionship, that Candy and Crooks along with George and Lennie all craved. The dream offered security, and equality, as well as an end to social injustice. This for some, was impossible to attain.
For George and Lennie, the dream could be seen as ‘wishful thinking’. The dream is simply wanting to re-create happier times as a child, when George said they would have pigeons:
“An’ we’d keep a few pigeons to go flyin’ around the win’mill like they done when I was a kid”. He wants to keep the good memories from his childhood alive, by re-enacting them.
They also dream of paradise, with lots of different foods. They will either eat the animals they raise, or will hunt for their food:
“…an’ when we kill a pig we can smoke the bacon and the hams, and make sausage an’ all like that. An’ when the salmon run up river we could catch a hundred of them. We could have them for breakfast”.
They also thought about the authority and the power that they would now have, instead of having to confirm to the power of others:
“If we don’t like a guy we can say: ‘Get the hell out,’ and by God he’s got to do it”.
For once in their lives, they would be able to appreciate the needs of human beings. They would have their own home, and friends could stay:
“An’ if a fren’ come along, why we’d have an extra bunk, an’ we’d say ‘Why don’t you spen’ the night,’ an’ by God he would”.
Lennie talks about the dream in front of Candy, and Candy becomes very interested. Candy is old, and lonely. He is lonely as his dog, which suffered from rheumatism and old age was laid to rest, and Candy wishes the same of him, as he feels exactly the same, as his dog must have felt.
He lost his hand on the ranch, and so he was given the job of swamping. Candy was given two hundred and fifty dollars for his injury, and the money may actually bring George and Lennie’s dream as close to reality as it has been so far.
“An’ they give me two hundred an’ fifty dollars ’cause I los’ my hand. An’ I got fifty more saved up right in the bank, right now”.
Candy is prepared to offer up the money, but he makes it perfectly clear that he wouldn’t ‘own’ the ranch, just because he had the highest stake. He is quite prepared to live away from that ranch, he has spent so long at.