Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck Comment on the relevance of the title of plot, characterization and themes of the novel.

Essay by nc69High School, 10th gradeA-, February 2004

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John Steinbeck's novel, "Of Mice and Men" is a tragic tale set in America during the great depression. It is a novel about defeated hopes and dreams, loneliness as well as companionship.

The title of the novel "Of Mice and Men", is a reference to a section of Robert Burns poem: "The best laid schemes o' mice and men, gang aft agley. And leave us not but grief an' pain. For promised joy". Which when translated reads: "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go wrong. And leave us nothing but grief and pain. For promised joy". This foretells of all that is to come in the novel. Several of the characters including George, Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and Crooks, strive to accomplish their dreams, either changing their lives in some way or finding companionship and a sense of belonging. The two main characters George and Lennie both have a scheme, a dream of someday owning their own farm and akin to the poem, their plan is not achieved, but instead finishing with a tragic end.

Promising hopes and dreams is one of the key factors of the novel. Instead of success however, there is only failure. Most of the characters in "Of Mice and Men" admit, at one time or another, of dreaming of a different life, and like George and Lennie, none of them are capable of doing so.

Curley's wife confesses to Lennie of her dream of becoming an actress, which has passed her by, leaving her with an unhappy marriage and a life of empty hope, filled with grief and pain.

Crooks an African American, fights a life of seclusion and struggle of acceptance, in hope of one day finding a sense of belonging. He admits to his loneliness of isolation to...