How was your understanding of the ideas in a prescribed text shaped by the use of character?

Essay by EffieHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

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If you have read the novel 'Of Mice and Men' then you would have been captivated. The novel is set, during the 1930s the Depression. It is very difficult to find a job at this time, because of it. Some of the many ideas John Steinbeck examines in his novel are friendship, loneliness and dreams. Each of the ideas has their own different meanings as demonstrated through the characters of the book.

The dream is one of the ideas used in the text. Without dreams on one has a reason to keep going. A dream is something you indulge in, to escape from life. This seems to be the context that Steinbeck planned for his characters. When Steinbeck refers to the ranch workers dreams he is referring to the American Dream, this was a common belief of Americans in the depression. It is a dream that they can own their own land and work for themselves.

The character George a migrant ranch worker "a small and quick man, dark of face with restless eyes and sharp, strong features" dreams of one day saving enough money to buy his own place and be his own boss. His only set-back is his mentally handicapped friend Lennie who travels with him and has since George promised Lennie's aunt Clara he would look after him after she died. George's dream although extremely similar to Lennie's, is probably more detailed and complicated. Lennie thinks as far as "tendin' the rabbits", but George has to worry about whether it would be possible. Lennie is mentally slow and he is 'huge, shapeless of face with large pale eyes." Lennie's innocence and vulnerability makes Lennie likable to the readers of the novel. That same childishness gets Lennie and George into a lot of trouble.

He likes hearing...