What is the significance of George and Lennie's dream to the narrative as a whole in Of Mice and Men?
The dream of Lennie and George provides hope in a time of great hopelessness in men.
In his poem "Andrea del Sarto," Robert Browning writes,
Love, we are in God's hand.How strange now, looks the life he makes us lead;So free we seem, so fettered fast we are! ....Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,Or what's a heaven for?
"I don' like this place, George. This ain't no good place. I wanna get outa here,"
"We gotta keep it [the job] until we get a stake. We'll get out just as soon as we can...."
George and Lennie's dream of owning their own farm represents the pursuit of the American Dream during the Great Depression. The dream, while inspiring George and Lennie to continue working, is unrealistic and unattainable. In the final scene, George finally realizes that no matter where they go, Lennie will continue to find trouble. Thus, his recitation of the dream to Lennie and then his shooting Lennie symbolizes the death of their personal dream and the impossibility of achieving the American Dream.