What are ten possible themes that can be used for this book?

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billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ten possible themes that could be explored in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men might be the following:

1. The lives of itinerant farm laborers. Steinbeck explored this more  thoroughly in his best novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

2. The "American Dream." George and Lennie's dream is a modest one, but it was of great importance to them. They wanted financial security and independence.

3. Exploitation of working men. One of Steinbeck's favorite themes and a very important issue in the Great Depression. The bindle stiffs in Steinbeck's novel not only received low wages but had to work eleven hours a day.

4. Friendship.

5. Loneliness. Most of the bindle stiffs are loners and drifters.

6. Competition for jobs, especially among the unskilled and uneducated.

7. The economics of big agribusiness in California. Steinbeck discussed this at much greater length in his novel, East of Eden.

8. Racism. This applies mainly to the African-American stable buck named Crooks, who is barely tolerated by the other workers.

9. Violence.

10. The peace and grandeur of nature. Steinbeck contrasts the beauty of nature with the ugliness and meanness of many of the men who inhabit and exploit it. Some of his best writing in Of Mice and Men is in his descriptions of California's beauty.






rodriguezmt's profile pic

rodriguezmt | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Here are five possible themes:

  • Isolation, this novel thrieves on how everone is and individual and being isolated is a great part of it as a state of mind.
  • Impossibility of the American dream, many of the characters express how they aren't living the life they have always dreamed about.
  • Innocence, is shown when Lennie is known for his mental disability and simplimatic childlike innocence. 
  • Freedom and Confinement, both known as a state of mindsince the men feel locked into their lives.
  • Justice, is seen within the ranch, which has its own "justice system" and the book follows the morales of the ranch and not the outside world.
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sparkle13 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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