Lennie and George, who come closest to achieving this ideal of brotherhood, are forced to separate tragically.
With this, a rare friendship vanishes, but the rest of the world—represented by Curley and Carlson, who watch George stumble away with grief from his friend’s dead body—fails to acknowledge or appreciate it.
Drawing on the biblical story of the Fall in which Adam and Eve sin in the Garden of Eden, Of Mice and Men argues that the social and economic world in which its characters live is fundamentally flawed.
The novella opens by an Eden-like pool that is presented as a natural paradise.
After hearing a description of only a few sentences, Candy is completely drawn in by its magic.
Crooks has witnessed countless men fall under the same silly spell, and still he cannot help but ask Lennie if he can have a patch of garden to hoe there.
George and Lennie’s dream of owning a farm, which would enable them to sustain themselves, and, most important, offer them protection from an inhospitable world, represents a prototypically American ideal.
Their journey, which awakens George to the impossibility of this dream, sadly proves that the bitter Crooks is right: such paradises of freedom, contentment, and safety are not to be found in this world.
Most of the characters in Of Mice and Men admit, at one point or another, to dreaming of a different life.
Before her death, Curley’s wife confesses her desire to be a movie star.