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Themes

George and Lennie may dream a little dream of owning a farm, but they don't get very far with their to-do list before it all crumbles in heartbreaking failure. As Crooks points out, all ranchhands dream of owning their own farm; it's their version of the 2.5 kids and white picket fence. Unfortunately, white picket fences are in short supply during the Great Depression, and <em>Of Mice and Men</em> ends in the only way it can: with the utter collapse of everyone's dream—even Curley's.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. Does the dream farm mean the same thing to Lennie as it does to George? If not, what are the differences?
  2. Once Candy announces he has the money for the ranch, the narrator declares, "This thing they had never really believed in was coming true." Is that a fair declaration? Did the guys ever really believe they'd get the ranch?
  3. Can dreams become actual plans, or are they aspirations that should remain untouched, so that there's always something to reach for?
  4. Do others on the farm also have dreams? Is it important to share these dreams with others, or is it more important that the dreams be kept secret?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Of Mice and Men, dreams are necessary, even if the characters know that they'll never achieve them.

Steinbeck seems dreams and foolish and unnecessary, just leading to more sorrow.

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