Many dreams in the work have a physical dimension: Not just wishes to be achieved, they are places to be reached.
The fact that George’s ranch, the central dream of the book, is an actual place as opposed to a person or a thing underlines this geographical element.
In both “Hope is the thing with feathers”, by Emily Dickinson, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, hope is portrayed as keeping up one’s spirit, and welcome when times are grueling, and sounding promising but not always making sense.
Hope-something to look forward to, never a reality. Hope-a thing with feathers, flighty, beautiful, unreal.
In Of Mice and Men, it seems an incontrovertible law of nature that dreams should go unfulfilled.
From George and Lennie’s ranch to Curley’s wife’s stardom, the characters’ most cherished aspirations repeatedly fail to materialize.It’s something to aspire to, but hope can’t achieve anything without work.Hope is something everyone is drawn to, but is only hoping. But the ‘perching’ bird controls us, its ‘claws’ on our heart, and we feel compelled to never give up our dreams. People cling to hope when life is hard, and hope is welcome when all else has failed. However pleasing hope is, it, “sings the tune without the words” (3).Hope is attractive, and promises much, but there are no words to back up the tune, and is mostly something to keep one’s soul going, not something that will ever amount to anything or deliver on its promises.The poem describes hope as a tangible thing that is constant in the soul, and attracts people to it, but isn’t based on reason.In “Hope is the thing with feathers”, hope is heard in troubled times and warms the soul, but isn’t always rational. Hope is described as constant, and as an irrefutable part of us.George and Lennie almost always fantasize about the ranch after some traumatic event or at the end of a long day, suggesting that they rely on their dreams as a kind of salve.The dream of the ranch offers George, Lennie, Candy, and the others a goal to work toward as well as the inspiration to keep struggling when things seem grim.It is alluring to gamble everything on hope, but in the end, there aren’t any ‘words’, and you’ll always lose. For instance, Curley’s wife hopes to be a movie star, and this is her fantasy that occupies her time, and keeps her semi-content with Curley, but she deludes herself and could never actually go to Hollywood. Without Lennie, George has no reason to dream, because Lennie asks George to it repeat the dream over and over, and keeps George thinking about how wonderful his dream is.Curley’s wife says she, “could of went with shows” (86). She thinks about this, and this keeps her from thinking about her terrible situation. Lennie is saving himself by keeping George focused on the dream, because without the dream, George would be a different person, and not see any reason for traveling with Lennie.