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John Steinbeck: An Introduction and Interpretation

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Carol Burnett once said, “When you have a dream you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” In Joseph Fontenrose’s literary criticism, hopes and dreams didn’t favor Lennie and George in the novella Of Mice and Men. George, Lennie and the other workers were never going to reach their dream of owning their own piece of land because of Lennie’s many mistakes. Although the only reason George wants to attain this dream is because of Lennie, Fontenrose’s argument that George cannot fulfill his dreams when being responsible for Lennie is valid because George is always fixing Lennie’s mistakes, he has limited pleasures because he is tied down with Lennie and it’s already hard enough for bindle stiffs to buy land.

Throughout the novella, George is constantly correcting everything Lennie does wrong. When George and Lennie were getting a job, Lennie was told not to talk because George knew that if the owner heard, Lennie would be jobless. George always wants Lennie to keep his mouth closed so he doesn’t get into any extra trouble. Lennie once said “Sure, George. I ain’t gonna say a word” (Steinbeck 29). Therefore, George can never achieve his own individual goals. When George shot Lennie he not only saved Lennie from Curley’s cruelty but set himself free and gaining his independence.

Works Cited

Fontenrose, Joseph. “John Steinbeck: An Introduction and Interpretation.” EXPLORING Novels. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.

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