The Pearl and Of Mice and Men, both parables by John Steinbeck, are stories with different themes. Yet despite the differences in the dreams and ambitions of Steinbeck's protagonists, his characters all share the hardship of having the will of society pitted against them. George and Lenny, from Of Mice and Men, travel from place to place, wandering as vagrants and accepting whatever charity available. They hope to create a sanctuary to shield their disillusioned lives. Quite opposite in situation is Kino, the poor American Native from The Pearl. He finds a pearl with the potential to uplift his family from poverty and discrimination. While the lives of the people are quite different, what binds them is that their dreams clash against the fabric of society, inevitably leading to their demise.
Despite the repression that society throws against them, George and Lenny survive through a hope kept alive by each other.
With no relatives, and few friends, little sympathy is garnered towards these desolate stragglers. They are victims of a society where they are unwanted, useless outcasts. Yet something peculiar sets them apart from other discarded men, a hope, a mysterious latent potential. As Lenny so adequately put it,
"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place... with us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.
So long as they have this future, George and Lenny can endure whatever torment society places against them, earnestly endeavoring to overcome their shortcomings.
What is tragic about the "future" that George and Lenny share is that it directly contradicts the rules of society.