Interpretation of symbolism in of mice and men
'Of Mice and Men' is a novella written by John Steinbeck, published in 1937. The story is set during the Great Depression and follows the lives of two migrant ranch workers, George and Lennie, as they travel through California in search of work. The novella is rich in symbolism and uses various symbols to convey its themes and messages. Some examples include:
The Ranch: The ranch is a symbol of the harsh reality of the lives of migrant workers during the Great Depression. It represents the struggles and difficulties that these workers faced, as well as the loneliness and isolation that they experienced.
The Dream: The dream of owning a piece of land and living off the 'fatta the lan'' is a central symbol in the novella. It represents the characters' hopes and aspirations, as well as the idea that the American Dream is unattainable for many people.
Lennie: Lennie is a symbol of the innocent victim of circumstance. He represents the idea of the 'other' and the social outcast, and the way society treats those who are different.
Curley's wife: Curley's wife is a symbol of the plight of women during the Great Depression. She represents the idea of the oppressed and the powerless, and the way society views women.
Candy's old dog: Candy's old dog is a symbol of the discarded and forgotten members of society. It represents the idea of the disposable nature of life during the Great Depression.
The dead puppy: The dead puppy is a symbol of Lennie's unintentional destructive nature, it also represents the idea of the broken American dream and the death of innocence.
Overall, Steinbeck uses symbols throughout the novella to convey the themes and messages of the story, such as the American Dream, loneliness, powerlessness, and the plight of the marginalized and oppressed during the Great Depression.