It could be said that hopes and dreams are driven by loneliness. But do we need them to survive? We all have them; they are part of human nature. In order for us to succeed in life we need something to aspire to even if it never actually becomes real. In “of mice and men” some people are the treasurers of these dreams and some people aren’t. For instance George and Lennie have shared the same dream built upon the hope that it might, or in Lennie’s case, will come true. They both dream of owning a ranch where they can own their own animals, and then as they both say, ‘Live off the fat of the land’.
In addition, George is able to involve Lennie in this dream of owning their own ranch by allowing him to understand the basic concept of the dream in a very simple form. Lennie, in his simplicity believes it will happen. As a character and in relation to the whole concept of dreams, I would say that Candy goes about his lonely life with the hope and in many respects; the belief that dreams can come true. He has nothing, or no one else, so perhaps it could be said for Candy that without this dream, loneliness could in fact drive him to despair.
This idea of Candy is then backed up when Candy discovers quite by chance that both George and Lennie share the same dream as him, to own their own land. candy then involves himself to the point that he opens up, and confronts them both with the idea that he too could come into the formation of their dream and, at the same time bring along with him all of his savings gathered throughout the years. Candy’s loneliness is empathized by the loss of his dog, which he reluctantly gave up due its inconvenience throughout the other members on the ranch.
Candy’s loneliness is also highlighted by the way he listens and tries to involve himself in others conversations. Overall I think Candy is just looking for companionship. Once Candy’s proposal has first been made, George is immediately very protective, and in some respects perhaps feels inclined to oppose the idea of Candy coming into his territory and, by that, it could be highlighting … his protection over Lennie. It is at this point where we begin to ask questions such as, ‘Whether or not the whole idea of the dream is more of a control mechanism over Lennie perpetuated by George, rather than something that George actually believes in.
George was the creator of this dream, he was always in control of where it leads to, and in his case I don’t believe he ever thought it could go anywhere. But when the idea actually becomes a possible reality, even George could not resist the temptations. At this point we too are pleased because we are inclined to believe that this dream could in fact come true. Crooks articulates the idea of the dream and the impossibility of it by saying, ‘Every guy has a piece of land in his head but nobody ever gets into heaven, nor gets land’. His natural defensiveness causes him to reject the idea of fulfilling the dream.
But when Candy expands (comes into) the idea, bringing along the money with it, crooks aspires to it. It is probably true that when we feel that ideas become tangible, we begin to get uncontrollably drawn in and seduced by the idea. In Crook’s case, the irony of it all is the fact that as we learn in the book, his family already owned their own ranch, so Crooks has actually already experienced this dream that so many of the other ranch workers hope for, but now he, himself is the lowest of the bunch because as he says, he is black. Another character with dreams is Curly’s wife, who wan the life of a star.
She wants to be in the movies, she believes that she can be something alto more worthy of what she already is, which in her case is nothing. But unlike the other characters we are lead to believe that she maybe got closer to her dream than any of the other characters. She brings forth the idea that she once met a movie star who said to her that if she wished, she could pursue and have a great career in the film industry. Yet we do not know if this is true, or for that matter if this alleged ‘film director’ was really what she perceived him to be and not just a fraud trying to lure her into bed.
So really we cannot be sure, perhaps… Curly’s wife genuinely believes, more than any of the other characters that her dream will one day become a reality. But going back to George and Lennies childhood, we have no knowledge as to whether or not, in relation to Curly’s wife’s experience, they wish to go back and are inspired by some untold childhood experience. Possibly all dreams are linked to childhood, though not always told so. However, you have a sense that growing up involves disillusionment. This I would argue could be part of the tragedy of the novel.
Although at the present time for many of the characters life is pretty miserable, they can still look forward to the illusion of having, and fulfilling their dreams. However, many of the characters crazy notions could possibly have lead to various horrific events. For instance, if Curly’s wife didn’t have all of these strong and fancy imaginings before going into the barn then perhaps it wouldn’t have led towards her death. So inevitably people’s dreams and aspirations could lead to people’s downfalls. I mean it is in the telling of the dream that Lennie experiences his happiest moments, but then he dies!
Ironically he establishes an intimacy with Curly’s wife which leads him to touch her and thus to go wrong. Leading her to death, and then Lennie. Why? We may ask. Perhaps it is saying that we can never really get or accomplish our greatest desires and dreams. Going back to the idea at the beginning, I suggested we need hopes and dreams to survive. Well really we don’t survive. For example Curly’s wife and Lennie, who don’t survive when in fact they were the 2 people who most relied on their dreams to keep on going. George who didn’t truly believe in the dream didn’t die.
He merely invented the dream for Lennie, but in propounding it he in some respects got carried away in his own falsehood. The death of Lennie leaves George to feel deceived by his own dream. Or if in pursuing them dreams can be perceived to keep us going. But in doing so can lead to the downfalls in life. After all we don’t really know whether or not our greatest will come true or not. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.