How Dreams Change Lives in Of Mice And Men

Most everyone has had a dream in life. Some people want to be a famous actor, some want to walk on the moon, some have more modest dreams, like to own a house of their own. All of these dreams are possible to achieve, but many times, they lead nowhere, only leaving behind disappointment and “what ifs”. In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, travel to work on a ranch, where they meet many people, including Candy, the old one handed handyman, and Curley’s Wife, the wife of the boss’ son. A main theme in Of Mice and Men by is that everybody has dreams in life, but many of them are never reached, and in reality, they have nothing to look forward to. Curley’s Wife, Candy, and George all have dreams that are never reached, each for a different reason. One character that has a largely unrealistic dream is Curley’s Wife. For much of the novel, not much is known about Curley’s Wife’s character, but near the end of the book, she spills her story out to Lennie. She tells him that when she was 15, she had met someone who told her that she could be a movie star, and she believed him, but he never came back for her. She blamed her mom for the fact she never heard from him again. She says, “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes–all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me” (89). It’s clear she still thinks about it a lot, as she goes into much detail when talking about it. She still blames her mom after all these years. She tells Lennie the reason she married Curley was to get back at her mother. She says, “I don’ like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella” (89). She had given herself a life with a man she did not like, just because of her naive and unrealistic dream of becoming a movie star. A dream that she still hopes for. This dream never comes true. The one handed handyman, Candy, has an unreached dream as well. About halfway through the novel, while most of the men were checking something out at the barn, George and Lennie discuss their plan of buying a house of their own. Unbeknownst to them, Candy overhears them talking, so he tells them that he wants in. He tells them that he’ll put in all his money, and he explains why: They’ll can me purty soon. Jus’ as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunk houses they’ll put me on the country. Maybe if I give you guys my money, you’ll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain’t no good at it … You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me. But they won’t do nothing like that. I won’t have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs. (60)Candy is scared of not having a purpose. If he gets canned, he knows that he would not be able to get another job and wouldn’t be useful to anybody. When he saw a chance for his final days to be happy and with purpose, he put all of his money into it. In the end, this ruined him, as the plan never succeeded, and his $100 sent to hold the property was gone, along with his dream.This plan was George’s, who is another character with a dream that is never achieved. George knew of a house that he could buy with only $600, and it was his dream to go buy that house and live off the land with his best friend, Lennie. “Someday–we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres” (14). He would constantly tell this dream to Lennie. Lennie loved this story, and it was clear he had heard it many times. When Candy input his money, George realized that they could actually get the property. This plan, however, failed. Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s Wife. When this happens, George decides that the dream was over. Whenever George told Lennie their dream, he would start by saying, “Guys like us … are the loneliest guys in the world … They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake … They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to” (13). He would always follow it up by saying that that did not apply to them, but after seeing what Lennie had done, this is what he says to Candy: “I’ll work my month and I’ll take my fifty bucks an’ I’ll stay all night in some lousy cat house … An’ then I’ll come back an’ work another month an’ I’ll have fifty bucks more” (164). He completely gives up on his dream, and likely ruins his life because of it. He becomes just like the “loneliest guys in the world” that he talked about in the first chapter.Many characters in Of Mice and Men had a dream that was never reached. This dream would end up ruining their lives. Curley’s Wife continued to follow a dream even after it was clearly unreachable. She gave herself a life with Curley, a man she did not like, just out of spite of her mother. Candy put everything into his dream. When it turned out he wouldn’t get his dream, he ended up worse off than he was before. George gave up his dream when he lost Lennie. Losing a best friend is not easy, but he let it ruin his life, likely ending up with one of the loneliest and least fulfilling lives possible, even though he could have still gotten the house without Lennie. Each of these characters made a different mistake that ruined their chance of getting a fulfilling life. Don’t make their mistakes; recognize when a dream is unreachable. Also, don’t put everything into a dream; have a fail safe in case it is never reached. Finally, don’t give up on a dream if there’s still a good possibility of achieving it, or one could end up with a lonely and unfulfilling life.Works CitedSteinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Pascal Covici, 1937.