How Does Steinbeck Use Dreams and Dreaming in the Novel?

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How does Steinbeck use dreams and dreaming in the novel? Why are they important? In Of Mice and Men, the hopes and dreams of the men on the ranch are a continuous focus and theme throughout the novel. Dreams and reality is one of the major themes in this book and Steinbeck uses the concept of dreams to show hope and aspiration, and show the difficulties of survival with unrealistic dreams. In the beginning of the chapter, we meet two migrant workers called George and Lennie who are different than most men during this time, simply because they have each other and they both share the same dream. “An’ live off the fatta the lan’” Their dream is of a simple small farm. A patch of land which they can call a home. They travel from place to place so often that they dream of a place where they can throw down their own roots. The word “fatta” tell us that they dream of having plenty. It is a dream of independence and it is important because it is what motivates them to keep going. Dreams are also used as a means of rewards. For example, when George says, “When we get the coupla acres I can let you tend the rabbits all right” George uses the dream to reward Lennie when he does something good and again the dream is being used as motivation. Without his dream Lennie would have had no direction in his life “an rabbit,.. An i’d take care of ‘em” As it is, Lennie's dream gives hope to George, Candy and even Crooks. Lennie's ambition to look after rabbits shows him to be a gentle man in spite of the violence that goes on in the novel. Candy doesn't have much hope at the start of the story, but when he meets Lennie and George and finds out what they are planning, he suddenly sees how his future could be different. “you know where’s a place like that?” When he hears George and Lennie's dream he sees a future in which he will own a farm and be forever safe from being canned. He
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