Of Mice and Men Themes: Fate

  • Created by: Erin W
  • Created on: 04-05-17 17:53

Overview + Possible Questions

  • Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
  • Of Mice and Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence.

Possible 'Fate' Questions:

  • Explore the theme of fate in 'Of Mice and Men'
  • The plans for Lennie's dream farm were never going to come true - agree/disagree?
  • The characters were fated never to be together - agree/disagree? (exploring compatability of characters' personalities)
  • Life for the characters on the ranch was never going to be successful - agree/disagree?
  • Explore the futility of the 'American Dream' in Of Mice and Men
1 of 4

Key Quotes

  • "Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land" - Crooks, Chapter Four - oppression does not come only from the hands of the strong or the powerful. 
  •  "...if you jus' happen to get in trouble...hide in the brush" - George, Chapter One - did George forsee Lennie's fate? Did this affect the way George acted?
2 of 4

Key Questions to Address in Exam

  • Was their fate brought upon them by God or by their own self-condemnation?
  • What environmental factors are to blame for the failure of their dreams?
  • Was it the differences between characters that caused their fate to be negative?
  • Did the variety of personalities on the ranch enrich or destroy it?
  • Was there anything the characters could have done to change their fate?
  • Were Lennie and George fated not to be together? - What about Curley and his wife?
  • 'A fly will always be attracted to light' - Is Lennie to blame for the failure of dreams or can his actions be excused?
3 of 4

Miscellaneous/useful points

  • The farm was a paradise for men who want to be masters of their own lives, the farm represents the possibility of freedom, self-reliance, and protection from the cruelties of the world.
  • Links with Robert Burns' poem: "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley,"  - Steinbeck's title inspiration and shows fate as the main decider.
  • Steinbeck's overkill of devices (echoes, symbolism, title, and repition) show how from the offset of the novella hopes and dreams were futile.
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Of Mice and Men resources »