Of Mice and Men Themes

  • Loneliness defines the characters in Of Mice and Men. This is especially true of Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife, who've been ostracized because of their race, age, and gender, respectively. Crooks' private room, segregated from the others, is a powerful symbol of this loneliness.
  • Steinbeck develops the theme of innocence through Lennie, whose disability makes it hard for him to understand the consequences of his actions. George repeatedly tells Lennie to be gentle with the mice and other animals he finds, but Lennie doesn't know how. He accidentally kills Curley's wife because he can't learn to control his own strength.
  • Money is one of the central themes of Of Mice and Men. George and Lennie are driven by their desire to buy a ranch, but are unable to save up because Lennie is always getting into trouble. Candy's offer of $350 makes buying the ranch suddenly possible, but Lennie kills Curley's wife before before they can purchase the land.


(Novels for Students)

Idealism vs. Reality
Of Mice and Men tells the story of two simple men who try to escape homelessness, economic...

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