One possible thesis for Of Mice and Men is that the alienation and hopelessness the migrant workers experience in their lives undercuts their ability to attain a better life. They can never get ahead because they lose faith in their dreams and blow their money on transitory pleasures such as drink and prostitutes. This keeps the men caught in a cycle of poverty and despair.
A quote which sums this up comes from the disillusioned Crooks. He ridicules George and the other ranch hands' dream of owning their own farm. Crooks says it is merely a fantasy that will never be realized. As Crooks puts it:
In town in a whorehouse. That’s where your money’s goin’. Jesus, I seen it happen too many times. I seen too many guys with land in their head. They never get none under their hand.
He is saying the men will give up long before they have enough money saved to buy a farm. It's no use even dreaming. Crooks has seen this game too many times before.
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