Explain HOW composers are able to explore themes and ideas through the techniques they employ through the creation of narrative. Composers of a novel are able to explore themes and ideas through the techniques which they employ through the creation of a narrative story. The novella Of Mice and Men is about two men working at the ranch in America to chase their dream to get their own place with rabbits. George Milton and Lennie Small are friends who travel together. They both share the same dream, which is to one day own their own ranch.
George is quick-witted and intelligent. He takes the parental role of looking after Lennie, a simple-minded man who in the book is described as a giant. Lennie is kind hearted with huge physical strength. He does not know how powerful he is and likes to pet animals. The other men on the ranch find their relationship unusual as they do not know of their past. The themes I will be discussing in this essay are The American Dream, loneliness and death. The American Dream is the major theme throughout the text.
Steinbeck explores this theme through Lennie and George’s dream of owning a small place with rabbits this creates a vision of a form of escapism for them. The main reason why Lennie wants his place is so that he can keep all the rabbits. The rabbit symbolizes Lennie’s dreams and the impossibility of their fulfillment and also symbolizes his childlike personality. Rabbits are a simple summation of everything Lennie hopes for. The composers of this novel are able to explore the American Dream through symbolism which is shown through the rabbits which represents hope.
Loneliness plays an important role in John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men. As Steinbeck illustrates through Curley’s wife, Candy, and Crooks, companionship and a sense of belonging are vital to human happiness; all three characters face problems and negative feelings because of their loneliness and isolation. It is ironic that Crooks, Candy and Curley’s wife all talk to Lennie in their loneliness and he does not understand them which show how desperate they really are. The theme of loneliness revolves around Candy in this book.
The old ranchman, currently only having one arm due to a previous accident, is always worrying about his future and he fears the boss will see him as useless and soon tell him to leave the farm. “They’ll can me pretty soon… I won’t have no place to go. ” Like his dog, Candy has lived past his usefulness. Curley’s wife is the only woman on the ranch and the only well-known female character in the entire novel. She is so lonely and always seeking attention and putting a lot of great effort into her looks. Her over-the top appearance portrays her desperation to be noticed.
She is unable to make any connections with the men on the ranch, the only people she ever comes in contact with, because they see her as “jailbait” and know that any sort of involvement with her would cause trouble with Curley. They think she is promiscuous and flirtatious. They are worried that they will be tempted by her and then fired from their jobs or worse. She has no-one to talk to and her husband often visits ‘whore-houses’. She feels un-appreciated and avoided. She is not given a name in this story, which shows that she is merely Curley’s wife, a possession and not a person with their own identity.
Death is the reoccurring situation that happens a lot through the text. Steinbeck introduces this theme through the death of the animals (Candy’s dog, mouse and the puppy) and more minor characters like Lennie and Curley’s wife. The novella starts with Lennie holding a dead mouse in his pocket. Lennie tries to cover up the death of his pet mouse. But his childish nature proves dangerous when his obsessive petting end in death. The change of the setting to the ranch/Bunk house opens with the ‘mercy killing’ of Candy’s aging dog, and then Lennie himself accidentally killing his puppy.
Foreshadowing is the technique which builds a dramatic tension. The turning point in the novella is the death of Curley’s wife who gets accidentally killed by Lennie in the barn. Lennie kills Curley’s wife out of panic but he doesn’t need to do it. The way Carlson kills Candy’s dog is similar to the way in which George kills Lennie – they did it because it was better off for everyone. The fact that the death of Candy’s dog and the death of Lennie are identical reflects on the way his murder was carried out.
He was shot by in the back of the head the same way the dog was. Candy told George, “I ought to of shot that dog myself”(p. 61) making him chose to kill Lennie himself to save him from dying by the hands of a stranger. Doing it the way that Carlson did it was for the best because, “He won’t even feel it. ” (p. 48) Steinbeck used the technique of foreshadowing to make the book Of Mice and Men more than just merely a book. He made it a book where the reader can predict what will happen before it happens through hints in the surrounding events.
Curley’s Wife’s death was foreshadowed by Lennie’s reputation as a troublemaker, his own death was foreshadowed through relationships between characters and the use of contrast, and the way he was killed was shown through Candy’s dog’s death. Steinbeck is able to explore Death through foreshadowing which is shown by Curley’s wife, Lennie, Candy’s dog and all the small animal deaths. John Steinbeck has showed that all the characters in the story are American migrant workers also known as the itinerant workers: in the 30s in the Salinas valley.
They travel around finding poorly-paid jobs on ranches. Steinbeck cared about the bad condition that they had worked in and that is why he wrote the book. The story follows two main characters, George and Lennie about their hardship and life on the ranch they are at. The American Dream, Loneliness and Death are the three main themes in the book. The American Dream is shown through Lennie and Georges dream of owning a small place in which they can call home with rabbits. The rabbit symbolizes Lennie’s dream and his childlike personality. Loneliness is shown through Curley’s wife, Candy and Crooks.
The three of them face problems and negative feelings because of their loneliness and isolation. Lastly Death is a constant threat to the character. Steinbeck introduces this theme through the death of the animals and the minor characters like Curley’s wife and Lennie. Steinbeck used the technique of foreshadowing to make the book Of mice and men more than just a book which also builds a dramatic tension. David Steinbeck has used The American Dream, Loneliness and Death and techniques symbolism of the rabbits and foreshadowing which employ through the creation of his play.