What would be a good thesis statement regarding Of Mice and Men? What would be a good thesis statement regarding Of Mice and Men?

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Kristopher Parisian eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I like to look at innocence and guilt in Of Mice and Men. Though questions of innocence and guilt may appear at first to be simple and straight-forward in this book, they are not.

On closer inspection we see that Lennie is far from innocent, even if he is unintelligent, and even George, despite his virtue and friendship, ends up in a very muddled moral position.

Candy and Carlson make another pair of "morally grey" characters regarding the shooting of Candy's dog. And even Curley's wife can be analyzed as to her own complicity in her death.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The suggestion by post#2 is perfect for Steinbeck's novel; as a socialist, Steinbeck was so concerned about underdogs.  Within the setting of this novel, the "bindle stiffs" were thousands of white men who were displaced after the Dust Bowl and other economic losses of the Great Depression.  Because they were itinerant they were unable to organize as others did in California so that they were not be oppressed and be paid fair wages.  In other novellas and novels, Steinbeck champions other races, but they, like the "bindle stiffs," are poor and, therefore, oppressed by upper classes.

Another thesis could involve the importance of dreams.  The American Dream has been a great motivator for many.  Lennie and George's dream keeps them going while at the same time, it keeps them as friends.

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One area that you might examine is the idea that we cannot escape who we are. Look at the characters of George and Lenny. For the most part, they were poor drifters. They had high aspirations, but they continued to wander through the years never getting closer to their goal, and never rising in stature. Lenny could not escape his past as it was so integral to his present. Candy, too, could not escape her...

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