THEMES Major Theme The major theme of the book is the beauty of a dream, for it gives a person a purpose in life. George and Lennie dream of owning a farm that they can call their own and where Lennie can raise rabbits and stay out of trouble, free from the constraints of society.
Both men constantly keep this dream in front of them. In fact, Lennie asks George to repeat the dream over and over.George, himself, refuses to frivolously spend any money, for he is saving every dime to buy the land. The dream keeps both of the working; it also keeps them close. Curley's wife and Crooks, two cynics, scoff at the dream of Lennie and George as being unrealistic, but Candy sees its possibility and its beauty. He offers to give his life savings to help make the dream a reality, for he wants to join George and Lennie on the farm, living out his last days in happiness.
When the two men accept Candy, he suddenly has a new lease on life; thedream has given him hope for a better future. At the end of the novel, the dream dies. As soon as Candy sees the body of Curley's wife, he understands his own loss of a dream and curses her for it. George also knows the dream hasdied with Lennie's death, and the novel ends with his going off to spend his money on liquor. He no longer has a reason to save his pennies.
Without a dream, his life is sad and meaningless.Minor Theme The pain of loneliness is another key theme of the novel. Early in the book, George sets the lonely mood by stating, 'Guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.' Candy becomes the picture of total loneliness caused by age. He is rejected by all for being old and handicapped.
His only company, his faithful, old, blind dog, is taken from him and killed; Candy fears that he will be treated the same way in the future and wants to join Lennie and George on the ranch. Crooks is the picture of total loneliness caused by prejudice. Because he is the only black man on the ranch, he is forced to live alone in a shed of the barn, and no one will have any interaction with him. As the only female on the ranch, Curley's wife also voices her loneliness.
She says, 'I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.' Slim is also a lonely man damn world is scared of each other." Only Lennie andGeorge are spared from the feelings of loneliness that pervade.