Once again George and Lennie have found themselves new job at a strange ranch. For a few months Lennie and George manage to keep their jobs, until the inevitable catches up to them. Due to Lennies childlike mind, he accidentally kills the boss sons wife. George realizes what a potential threat to society Lennie is, and shoots him in the back of the head. Of Mice and Men is filled with details unleashed through its literary elements, such as setting and climax, not to mention many others.
An abandoned pond is where the story first occurs. Later, the setting moves to the ranch Lennie and George work on for much of the novel. At this area, George and Lennie make a hundred dollars a week combined. Which, at a Southern plantation in the middle of the Great Depression is quite a price. During the climax, however, the setting switches back to the little abandoned pond.
No matter where George and Lennie are, third-person-point-of view- reigns supreme. Mostly it is written with George in mind, sharing his thoughts only. Occasionally, when George is away, Lennies ideas and thoughts of events past is shown. John Steinbach uses the ingenious method of switching back and forth when either George or Lennie is out of the room to share each perspective. That way, the reader can truly understand both George and Lennie.
Since Lennies thoughts and actions are shown, characterizing him is much easier. Lennie is a simple, but sometimes hard to understand, individual. Firstly, Lennie was mentally challenged, and often caused trouble with his childlike mind. Another characterization is obvious, Lennie is strong; he may not know his strength, but it is still there. Thirdly, Lennie is fiercely loyal. No matter what, Lennie follows Georges orders to the best of his ability; he would rather die than harm George.
Long ago, when the United States was born, along with it, came the American Dream. If nothing else, Of Mice and Mens theme is the American Dream. Early on Lennie and George proclaimed their goal of tending a farm of their own. The fact that George and Lennie want to tend the ranch together, gives away the other part of the theme. Brotherhood plays a major role in Of Mice and Men. A bond George and Lennie shared kept them and their dream going until the very end of the novel.
Every time George and Lennie lost their jobs, or Lennie did something troublesome, George would talk of life without Lennie. How ironic, that when Lennie died, George was devastated. Apparently, despite the many times George said life would be better with out Lennie, George never really meant his words. Irony continues to litter Of Mice and Men. For example, Lennie was the most well meaning character in the book, but he was also the most harmful. Unfortunately, as shown in the aforementioned novel, irony is most often cruel.
One of the oddest instances in the book occurs when Lennie escapes to the brush. While hiding from the other, Lennie somehow managed to imagine a giant bunny chastising him. This bunny symbolized the rabbits George had promised Lennie he could end to when the farm was theirs. Now, after Lennie had murdered both a puppy and girl, he believed he would no longer get to tend to the rabbits. Besides Lennies lost privilege, the bunny also represents Lennies Aunt Clara.
Foreshadowing occurs unbelievably often in Of Mice and Men. When George and Lennie arrive at the ranch, George emphasizes repeatedly on the brush. Again and again George tells Lennie that if he gets into trouble, to go hide in the brush. Such interest in that particular order, almost guarantees Lennie will be at the brush eventually. Also, Lennies proclaimed love of soft things, whether it is puppies or a velvet dress was bound to stir up some trouble. Finally, the detailed account on Candys dogs death foretold a major event. Why would the author mention how painless a shot in the back of the head is, if it is not important later on in the story?
Man struggled against man throughout the entire novel. A few instances were because of the time era the book took place in. One of these was the ranch hands against Crook. Crook struggled against the oppression on blacks in order to make a decent wage. Further on, more raw aggression took place amongst the ranch workers. The most violent of these is when Curly went against Lennie unprovoked. When analyzed, the fight was nothing more than a power struggle between a control hungry man and the confused.
Suspense came down on Of Mice and Men like a two-ton anvil. Lennie was all alone in the barn when Curlys wife strode into the scene. Lonely and desperate, Curlys wife began to tell Lennie her whole life story, somehow ending with her urging Lennie to stroke her hair. However, he grasped it to tight, causing her to scream. Panicking Lennie covered her mouth, accidentally smothering Curlys wife. Terrified, Lennie follows Georges orders and runs away to the brush. Soon after, the body of Curlys wife is discovered, and the ranch workers go for their guns, out to murder Lennie. George runs ahead of the workers, and finds Lennie. After telling Lennie a couple of stories, George lifts up a stolen gun and shoots Lennie in the back of the head. Instantly, Lennie falls down dead. Soon, the other men come, but George does not care. All George can think about is that now he is truly alone, and his dream of a ranch of his own is over.