Of Mice and Men: Four Major Themes”Of Mice and Men”, by John Steinbeck, is composed of four major themes.These themes are the value of dreams and goals, moral responsibility, socialinjustice, and the bond of friendship and loyalty.The value of dreams and goals are that they provide hope and the desireto keep going in life, rather than laying down to die. When Lennie is feelingdepressed in the woods he asks George to tell him about the “dream farm” again.This is the farm that Geore and Lennie hope to own someday. Even though thisdream seems almost impossible at the time it still generates enough hope tokeep Lennie and George going. When George starts talking bout it Lennie getsall excited and happy and so does George.
Another example of the power ofdreams is when Candy over hears George and Lennie’s “dream farm” and becomes apart of the dream. Candy goes from a depressed sad additude to a cheerfulexcited one. He now has hope of doing something and it came from the “dreamfarm”. A final example of the value of dreams and goals is when Crooks hearsof the farm.
Crooks is a lonely black man who has no future, but when hestarts to think of how he can be a part of the dream he also gets happy andexcited, until his dream is crushed.Many people of good character have to honor certin moral responibilites.George is bond by his own moral to take care care of Lennie.
No one makes himdo it, he just does it because it feel like the right thing to do. Candy feltlike he neglected his moral responibility to shoot his own dog. Candy feltreal bad inside because it was his job to shoot his dog but instead Carlsonshot him. This shows that when a person goes against what is moraly right tothem , they hate themselves for it.
At the end of the story George is forced,out of moral, to shoot Lennie. It was the right thing to do, and even thoughit almost killed George inside to kill his best friend, he still did it.Social injustice is when a person or a goup of people feel they arebetter than people who are different by race, inteligence, age, sex, or otherdifferences. Curley is rude and mean toward Lennie for the sole reason thatLennie is a big guy. Curely dosn’t like big guys so he singles out Lennie andattacks him.
Another good example of social injustice is Crooks. Crooks has tobe alone all the time because he is black. When Crooks tells Miss Curley toleave his room Miss Curley threatens that she can get him linched.
This reducesCrooks to a big pile of nothing and crushes Crooks dreams of going to the”dream farm”. Crooks only responds with a series of “yes mam” ‘s then becomesbeyond depressed. The power that one person can end another’s life with asingle lie without and evidence is a prime example of social injustice.
A finalexample of social injustice is Candy being old. He is treated old and useless,if he stuck up for Crooks about the Miss Curley lie no one would believe him.Miss Curley laughs at Lennie, Crooks, and Candy because to her they are allbelow her.The bond of friendship and loyalty is a force that keep people lookingout for each other, rather than themselves. When Lennie is getting beat up byCurley and Lennie, Lennie wasn’t fighting back because he was being loyal toGeorge’s request for him not to make trouble.
George sees lennie getting beatup and tells Lennie to fight back out of friendship. When Crooks startstelling Lennie that George might die or get hurt Lennie gets mad. He feel thatsomeone, Crooks, might hurt his friend and almost fights Crooks to defend hisfriend. Candy shows loyalty when he tells Miss Curley that he would stick up onCrooks behalf if she tried to lie and yell rape.Steinbeck used these four themes to show what problems America wasfaceing at the time. A time of racial injustice, loss morals, taintedloyalties, lost hope and smashed dreams.
The people needed their eyes openedto what is important to everyone as a whole rather than to one. In the battleto rise up in the world, people rarely care who is on the bottom and why theyare there.