The theme of hardship in the novel Of Mice and Men

Essay by Tia21316High School, 10th grade October 2014

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The theme of hardship is presented in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Hardship is a theme most people can relate to, as there are many types of hardships in people's lives. For example, George and Lennie have trouble keeping a job, don't own anything, get into unwanted trouble, and have personal hardships in the novel. The writer uses the conventions of setting, conflict and characterisation to get the theme across to the readers.

Setting is used to establish the time, place and mood in a story. The novel Of Mice and Men is set in the countryside of California, during the 1930's. During this time there was long-term unemployment which leads George and Lennie to travel in search of more work, as it was difficult for the two to keep a steady job. Most men travel alone but George stays with Lennie even though it means work would be harder to keep.

"You can't keep a job and you lose me ever' job I get." George says this to Lennie at the beginning of the novel. Adult readers can relate to George because they know how difficult it is to find a job and is forced to sympathize with George and Lennie. Travelling place to place has consequences that George and Lennie face. They are unable to call anything their own except what they can carry on their backs. They don't have the money, stability or privilege that many people do. When the reader is first introduced to George and Lennie's dream, George says "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place." Readers of all ages are compelled to empathize with the characters and their hardships. Travelling together...