Hope and Dreams By Dan and Maddie In Of Mice and Men- Hope and Dreams are a main theme in the book. ‘The best laid schemes of Mice and Men, gang aft agley (often go wrong) and leave us nought but grief and pain, for promised joy’- this was the poem that came from Scottish writer Robert Burns. John Steinbeck liked the idea of this, and with his fascination for migrant workers, thought it would fit well as a title for the book. The poem touches on the idea that everybody dreams of having something, in the book’s case- a ranch and farm with everything on it- but it normally turns out to be just a dream. Curley’s wife • Curley’s wife dreams of being an actress. “’Nother time I met a guy, an’ he was in pictures. Went down to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon’s he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it.” • Curley’s wife’s hope was to become an actress, but her real dream was to be actually recognized as a person and to have attention from people, because women back in the 1930’s were only useful for chores and cooking, they weren’t viewed as anything else. This is why Steinbeck has called the character ‘Curley’s wife’ because everybody only viewed her as Curley’s wife never as another person, just somebody’s attachment. Crooks • Crooks dreams about his childhood and being on his father’s chicken ranch. “I was born right here in California. My old man had a chicken ranch, ‘bout ten acres. The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. I never knew til long later why he didn’t like that.” • Crook’s significant chapter is in chapter 4 when he talks to Lennie. He talks to Lennie because Lennie is so childlike and forgets most information so Crooks believes he can confide in him. Crooks • Crooks is also interested in George and Lennie’s dream briefly as he sees it as the closest thing he could do to get his dream, “…if you...guys would want a hand to work for nothing- just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to.” • Crooks was sceptical about the dream at first but got gradually pulled into the dream as they went along, but then Curley’s wife came in and shot his pride down and made him believe that he’s worth nothing, so he pulled out of it to retain some dignity. George, Lennie and Candy • George, Lennie and Candy all dream about finally one day fulfilling the dream of having their own land & ranch. “They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true. George said reverently, ‘Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her.’ His eyes were full of wonder. ‘I bet we could swing her.’ He repeated softly.” This is the moment when they finally realize that they actually could make the dream a reality and that George and Lennie may finally have something to live for in their lives. The American Dream • George and Lennie’s dream links to the 1930’s because most migrant workers would want a ranch and to be able to work for themselves. They would be able to do whatever they wanted and would only have to answer to themselves. • This in essence is what the American Dream was all about, and it was this dream that drove most people and forced them to travel around America looking for work, hoping that one day they would achieve the American Dream. • However, because of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, society was troubled and in ruins and the economy was worthless, both of which made the possibility of achieving the American Dream impossible; meaning no one actually realised their dreams; they were pointless and futile. Why were dreams important? • Dreams were important because in the 1930’s nobody had any money so the dream to have money was important as it made you feel that you had some power in you. It gives them something to aim for and keeps them going through the days. It gave them motivation and drive. • The dreams of people in the 30’s and in Of Mice and Men were optimistic and would take years to complete; they never actually had a chance of reaching their dream. Their life as a migrant worker is repetitive as they aim for a dream but they end up where they first were, having gone round in a circle. Why were dreams important? • Dreams give people hope by making them think that they could have a better life and that at the end of the day they will be better off. • Hope keeps the migrants going because without hope they would feel worthless and like life wasn’t worth living.