Of Mice and Men Universal Themes

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Of Mice and Men Universal Themes by Mind Map: Of Mice and Men Universal Themes

1. Inequality

1.1. The timeframe of the novel, captures gender, racial, and mental inequality

1.1.1. During the novel George does not hide his displeasure with Lenny's lack of mental capacity; this could reflect the misunderstanding of mental issues during the 1930s.

1.1.2. The plight of segregation is also displayed through the character Crooks. Crooks is not permitted in the bunk house and is confined to the stable because of the color of his skin.

1.1.3. Curly's wife, throughout the novel does not have the priviledge of a name and is referred to only as an object or possession, Curly's wife.

2. Lonliness

2.1. Mans' desire to avoid loneliness

2.1.1. I feel this theme is the most prevalent throughout the novel

2.1.2. George recognizes that Lenny continually gets him in trouble; however he is most nervous of loneliness. His life would be so easy without Lenny, but also very solitary

2.1.3. Curly’s wife despite the constant flirtation, also is fearful of living the rest of her life as a lonely woman surrounded by the world of men

2.1.4. Candy lives in perpetual fear of outliving his usefulness on the ranch. This is exhibited by his desire to keep his dog alive, despite the fact that the dog is old and serves no purpose.

3. Friendship

3.1. The bonds of freindship and dependence form and are strived for throughout the novel

3.1.1. George and Lenny, despite their differences are bound by companionship

3.1.2. The workers themselves exhibit a camraderie amongst themselves against the times and in some cases against management

4. American Dream

4.1. The American Dream, despite the best efforts, sometimes fail to come to fruition.

4.1.1. Throughout the novel George and Lenny dream of owning their own farm, so they do not have to be in constant search of work. This hope at a better life is the fabric of American society, and although sometimes plans can be great, life, nature sometimes has other ideas.

4.1.2. Both Curly’s wife and Candy have dreams of something more. Curly’s wife wanted a better life away from the farm and travel to the big cities. Candy wanted the security that George and Lenny could give him through the farm. Both characters had to face the realities of life.