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In Of Mice and Men, it seems an incontrovertible law of nature that dreams should go unfulfilled.
But by the end of the story, Steinbeck reveals that dreams can be as poisonous as they are beneficial.
What George discovers—and what Crooks already seems to know when he scornfully spurns Candy’s offer to join him, Lennie, and George—is that dreams are too often merely an articulation of what never can be.
In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck displays how Lennie and George have a loyal friendship, whereas the others suffer from loneliness because they have no one.
Throughout Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck keeps the theme of loneliness prevalent.
George and Lennie almost always fantasize about the ranch after some traumatic event or at the end of a long day, suggesting that they rely on their dreams as a kind of salve.
The dream of the ranch offers George, Lennie, Candy, and the others a goal to work toward as well as the inspiration to keep struggling when things seem grim.For the characters in Of Mice and Men, dreams are useful because they map out the possibilities of human happiness.Just as a map helps a traveler locate himself on the road, dreams help Lennie, George, and the others understand where they are and where they’re going.Indeed, when others begin to believe in the dream-space that George has created, it becomes almost realer to them than the farm they work at, a phenomenon illustrated by Candy’s constant “figuring” about how to make good on their fantasy.Dreams help the characters feel like more active participants in their own lives because they allow them to believe that the choices they make can have real, tangible benefits.However, in Lennie and George’s case, it is not so.George often verbally shows that he isn’t like the other guys because he has Lennie as a companion, and vice versa.Seduced by how close he thinks he is to realizing his dream, George fools himself into thinking that Lennie can mind himself and stay out of trouble when past events confirm the contrary.In the end, George does not despair at Lennie’s death because the ranch is forever lost to him, but rather because his friend—the one good reality of his life, the one reality that redeemed George from worthlessness—is forever lost to him.At the end of the novel, George’s going off with Slim to “do the town” is more than an escape from grief. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. A guy needs somebody to be near him.” He whined, “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.It is ironic and a symbolic twist to his dream.” (Lisca 92) Despite George’s ritual rant about how he would carry on without Lennie, he feels no desire to pursue it after he kills Lennie at the end of the novel. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy `cause you was black. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.