Throughout the book, “of mice of men”, Steinbeck emphasizes the dream through his characters.George dreams of one day gaining independence and self knowledge through defining himself as a “somebody”. Lennie dreams of sharing George’s aspirations and overcoming his obsession over soft objects. Candy wishes to render his responsibility which became overbearing with the loss of his dog and for a clear and secure conscience in his increasing seniority. Crooks wishes for a quaint homestead where he may communicate with himself with comforting respect, security, and faithful acceptance. The wife of Curley dreams of becoming an actress with the sole purpose of reconciling her marriage to Curley and loss of self respect and fame.
Disregarding the necessity for companionship, Steinbeck shows how the true nature of loneliness exists through the malevolent interactions towards one another. Curley’s wife’s loneliness is fed by Curley’s jealous nature. This in turn creates a negative image of Curley’s wife to the ranch hands.
Steinbeck also creates characters that tend to be weak, because of their cerebral, economic or social statuses. Lennie exemplifies his great strength, which shows respect for his employment as a ranch hand. Lennie his handicapped by his intellectual weakness and struck dumb and inferior. Weakness in wealth is also shown in which many ranch hands suffer through the great depression. The shared dream of the purchase of a homestead between George, Lennie, Candy, and Crook is incapable due to theireconomic troubles.
Another important theme to recognize is fate. As the characters dreams are shattered, Georges inability to protect Lennie, it is presented as “something that happened” or “non-teleological thinking”, which illustrates this judgmental perspective.