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Of Mice And Men (Analyss Of Two Places In Novel To Illustrate Theme Of

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An Ill-fated Utopia

As current obstacles in ones life taint the quality of existence, a fantasy setting in ones mind can create happiness. These 'happy places' that all individuals visit in their mind contrast slightly to the real world in regards to what they represent and invoke from the individual. In the short novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the significance of a fantasy place is exemplified through the struggles and hopes of George Milton and Lennie Small. While both are unfortunate individuals who rely on each others presence, the aspiration of owning their own farm with rabbits enables them to continue in the cruel and competitive world they've come to know through the mental handicap of Lennie. Regardless of the idealistic setting they visualize, true location proves to be perpetual when Lennie dies. Nonetheless, when contrasted, the portrayal of imprisonment and freedom is embodied through the elements of George and Lennie's microcosm versus their utopia, further contributing to a theme that a hopeful approach to life is futile.

The farm that Lennie and George are employed to represents struggle, and hardship. However, the world that the future holds for Lennie and George represents reward, hope, and freedom. While working hard on a ranch in the Salinas Valley in California in what seems to be the time of the depression, companions Lennie and George encounter opportunity and fallbacks. Though surrounded by positive people, the presence of one man, Curly, the boss's son, denotes the unpleasant entrapment of his employees by his horrible character. Curly's cruel domineering personality connotes entrapment and unhappiness in his presence. The strenuous labor required of employment on the farm also implies strife and pain.

Regardless of their current position and location, Lennie and George look beyond to a place where they are in charge: the not too distant future where Lennie and George own a farm together, with the accessory of rabbits. This place symbolizes freedom of the discomforts of the society that Lennie and George have both experienced. In this



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