SteinbeckIn the novel Of Mice and Men, the problems experienced by the characters are often over looked in favor of the themes of the book. However, by looking at the adversities of all of the characters, one can see the same adversities expressed in our own lives; by examining these said adversities, one can also learn to face such difficulties in the real world and better determine how to handle them. In the novel, Lennie faces difficulty in explaining himself to the rest of the world. Since he is mentally challenged, most people, even George sometimes, underestimated his intelligence and logic skills.
In Weed, the ranchers assumed the worst about him and didn’t stop to think of his motives. They chased George and Lennie out of town with a mob of angry ranchers. At the ranch in Soledad, Lennie is given most of the basic tasks. Everyone assumes he cannot do work like a normal ranch hand. And again, after he kills Curly’s wife, everyone, except George and perhaps Slim, assumes he killed her out of pure spite. This lack of interest in his true motives is similar to the lack of interest the world has for our motives for anything.
The world focuses more on what we have done than on why we have done it. If one cannot display ones motives or desires, then the world assumes the worst, and often society labels situations in a less than satisfactory manner. George faces a barrier in achieving his dream of owning a ranch of his own. Partially this is his doing, as shown with the wasting of money on cathouses and booze, but there are other factors as well, like the death of Lennie. Also, George seems to abandon any hope in his dream at the end of the novel.
In this case, one can see that if ample efforts are not taken in the right direction one cannot achieve his goal to its entirety. Furthermore, the way the workmen take away Candy’s dog is similar to the way the world takes away the joys experienced by some members of the society. Candy’s dog, symbolic of Candy’s life and livelihood, was more important to him than some of the other ranch hands. Carlson, the representative of the world, took Candy’s dog from him and killed it, just as the world will sometimes take what we hold most dear.
One can learn from this to hold on to what is most important to them. One should never let the world dictate how to make decisions on how to live life. In conclusion, the problems of the characters in Of Mice and Men are very similar to the problems in the real world. In the novel, however, the difficulties are more apparent than in the world. By applying the experiences of the characters to one’s own life, one can learn how to better himself for his own benefit.