Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck is a story of two laborers during the great depression and their need for a place to call their own. George and Lennie have been traveling together all their lives, and they depend on each other for help. Lennie bright. George, on the other hand, is a small quick fellow who looks is a big guy, not too out for Lennie. It is ironic that George and Lennie have become such good friends, although they are rather an unlikely pair. John Stienbeck uses the theme of brotherhood to capture the time period very well.
George and Lennie have been together ever since they were young, and George just somewhat came to adopt Lennie and take care of him, like a brother. They have always had a dream of owning their own little place, where they can work for themselves, and not have to worry about other people. They have been dreaming about this all their lives, but now it seems like it may actually come true very soon. Unfortunately, one day Lennie unintentionally breaks a lady's neck so he runs away and George ends up having to shoot him so he will not have to spend a life in prison, or be killed in an even worse way. It is a sad ending, but it suits the book very well.
This book really gives a great example of how life was during the great depression. Men traveled aimlessly from job to job with only the clothes on their backs. George explains it like this:.
"Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an" work up a stake and then they go into town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they"re poundin" their tail on some other ranch. They aint got nothing to look ahead to.".
This was not a very fulfilling life for most people, and they always dreamed of something more, but knew they could never achieve it.
Often, symbolism and foreshadowing are used hand in hand in Of Mice and Men.