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Of Mice And Men Symbol Analysis, Rabbits

In the novel Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck, the rabbits throughout the story represent the American Dream during the 1930’s.

The novel is about two men, which travel from ranch to ranch to find work. The book also has many figurative and symbolic meanings, one of which is the American Dream. Three ways the rabbits symbolize this dream is a quiet life, power, and how difficult to obtain the dream is. In Of Mice And Men, Steinbeck uses rabbits to show the American Dream.

Rabbits in Of Mice And Men symbolize a quiet life. “On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones.” This shows how rabbits had a quiet life and where untouched by everything around them. Rabbits show the American Dream because they show that people that have accomplished the dream are untouched and unharmed by the hardships going on around them. In the 1930’s many people were looking for work and money, not many people had an easy, quiet life. Rabbits also symbolize power. Lennie kills many animals in the story. “Lennie looked sadly up at him. “They was so little,” he said apologetically. “I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was dead—because they was so little. I wish’t we’d get the rabbits pretty soon, George.”

Rabbits and mice symbolize power over things. Lennie feels like he needs to be in control of them. People within the story all want to be in control of their own land. The majority of people during the time period could not afford or own their own patch of land. Lennie like other people feel like they need to control and have power over something but in reality they cannot. Another way Steinbeck uses the rabbits to shoe the American Dream is by showing how hard it is to achieve. “Rabbits hurried noiselessly for cover.” The rabbits were very hard to catch, this symbolizes how the American Dream was really hard to achieve. Also Lennie hallucinates and sees a giant rabbit saying he will never be able to tend the rabbits.

This also shows the American Dream was super hard to achieve. The giant rabbit also shows that the dream is ‘bigger’ than you are and it cannot really be obtained. In Of Mice And Men, rabbits are used to symbolize the American Dream. They symbolize the dream as hard to get, peaceful, and full of power. The rabbits show on multiple occasions symbolism of the dream and how the characters feel towards the dream.

Book Review | Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.


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