Examples Of Symbolism In Of Mice And Men

What are 3 examples of symbolism that you find in the novel? Name the idea or thing and what it stands for.

What are 3 examples of symbolism that you find in the novel? Name the idea or thing& what it stands for.


This is for English & Im stuck on this one question! Help!

Expert Answers
lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lenny's puppy is a symbol of weakness. The strong Lenny accidentally kills the puppy, showing that he is stronger than the puppy. In the end, though, Lenny himself ironically meets a similar fate because he is weak in another way - mentally. The mice that Lenny kills accidentally are also symbols of weakness, and the triumph of the strong over the weak. This is reflected in the title as well - "men" over "mice" - Of Mice and Men (which is taken from a poem by Robert Burns).

Candy's dog is another symbol of weakness. The dog has outlived its purpose as a sheep dog. The strong Carlson promises to kill the dog humanely because it has outlived its purpose and this symbolizes that Candy fears that some day soon, he, too, will no longer be needed on the ranch.

George and Lenny's dream "farm" is a symbol of delusion. The two men dream of a place that does not exist and never will exist for them. They delude themselves into thinking that they will have a farm some day, a place where they can live freely, but that place cannot exist for them in their world. On some level, George knows this, but he keeps pursuing the dream anyway, hence he is deluded.

bval | Student

Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and Candy's wife are all outsiders. Each is different in his/her own way, and the fact that they are different causes them to be outsiders. Lennie is not smart. He is child-like and naive in his thoughts and this is symbolic of his disability. Candy is old and disabled. His old dog, and the fact that the dog is killed, is symbolic of what happens when a person (or animal) is no longer useful. Candy is scared that he will someday also be "put down." Crooks is an African American and for that reason he is an outsider during this time period. The fact that he stays in his own place is symbolic of the fact that he is an outsider. Finally, Curley's wife is an outsider because she is a woman. Women during this time period did not have the rights they have today. The fact that she does not have a name is symbolic of the fact that she does not have an identity.

ashields73 | Student

Look closely at the beginning and ending of the story.  The descriptions of the valley are idyllic, especially the beginning.  Compare these to the Garden of Eden.  You will be amazed at how many similarities you encounter.  What ruins everything?  What is the result?