In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, many references are made to the struggle
to achieve an impossible goal. Almost every character confesses their desire to lead a
different life. George, Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife, and even Crooks mention their
fantasies of a better, more enjoyable and admirable life.
George and Lennie's fantasy is the main example used to express the struggle to
realize impossible dreams. George created this elaborate vision of a wonderful farm and
house, that just the two of them would share, with bunnies and all sorts of soft animals for
Lennie. He created it to help control Lennie when he gets angry, and to keep Lennie
happy after someone hurts his feelings. After a while of talking about this dream, George
starts to believe it. It helps them to keep sane in a hostile world, and gives them hopes of
going on and succeeding in a nice sanctuary away from all the cruel people.
When Lennie tells Candy and Crooks George's fantasy, even after being
instructed by George specifically not to do so, they want to share the dream too. Because
Candy is getting rather old, and is missing a hand, he fears that he will be discharged
from the ranch soon, and that he will have nowhere to go, so as soon as he hears the
men's plans he latches on to the idea. He dreams of having his own land and to being
able to sustain himself.
Crooks also wishes to be part of the dream, though he makes fun of Lennie for it
and claims that it isn't feasible. He wants to go and hoe in their make-believe garden,
because he wants to feel he isn't inferior, and he likes Lennie because Lennie doesn't
make him feel like he is...