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. Curley’s wife dreams of being a movie star, and this keeps her married, if unhappily, to Curley, but her dream is actually a delusion, and while promising much, never actually delivers. George and Lennie are sustained throughout their troubles by their dream of a farm and escape from the migrant worker’s life, and while it could have happened, Lennie kills Curley’s wife, thus making their dream impossible. The poem describes hope as a tangible thing that is constant in the soul, and attracts people to it, but isn’t rational. In “Hope is the thing with feathers”, hope is heard in troubled times and warms the soul, but isn’t always rational.
The poem says of hope, “That [it] perches in the soul” (2).
Hope is described as constant, and as an irrefutable part of us. Hope is also, “sweetest-in the Gale” (5).
People can have hope anytime, anywhere. Hope is welcome when all else has failed.
However pleasing hope is, it, “sings the tune without the words” (3).
Hope sounds nice, and promises much, but there are no words to back up the tune, and is mostly something to keep one going, not something that will ever amount to anything. Curley’s wife hopes to be a movie star, and this is her fantasy that keeps her with Curley, but she deludes herself and could never actually go to Hollywood. Curley’s wife says she, “could of went with shows” (86).
Curley’s wife is a character in the novel “Of mice and men” set in California and written in 1937 by John Steinbeck. She is the only woman on a ranch of itinerant working men, and because of this she gets treated by each man in a different manner. Most of the men treat her in a negative way, therefore causing different degrees of sympathy from the reader. Sympathy implies that the reader feels an ...
She thinks the reason she never was able to was because, “my ol’ lady stole” (97) a letter asking her to come to Hollywood. However, the man who said he could put her in the pictures was simply using her, and she was deluding herself to make her life bearable.
When she died, “the meanness and plannings and discontent… were all gone from her face” (101).
She was only ‘happy’ in death, because her dream was false. If Lennie and George didn’t have their dream, they wouldn’t have had the drive in their life, and would have descended to the level of the other hands; however, their dream wasn’t rational and probably wouldn’t have succeeded anyways. Lennie says to George, “I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you” (15).
Lennie and George keep each other afloat in the migrant worker’s life.
Without George, Lennie would end up in a mental institution. That’s the practical part of heir relationship, but George needs Lennie as much as Lennie needs him, albeit not in as much of an obvious way. Without Lennie, George would, “stay in a cat house all night… [or] get a gallon of whiskey, or set in a pool room and play cards or shoot pool” (12).
In other words, George would descend to the level of other ‘bindle stiffs’. He wouldn’t have the dream to support him, the dream of a better life.
However nice the hope is, though, George, “‘know ed we’d never do her [the dream]. [Lennie] us ta like to hear about it so much [he] got to thinking maybe we would [get the farm]'” (103).
George realizes at the end that he has been singing a tune, but he doesn’t have any words to back it up. Without Lennie, George has no reason to dream.
The poem “Hope is the thing with feathers” states that hope is an ever-present force in one’s soul that sustains one through hard times, although it isn’t rational. This ideal of hope having ‘feathers’ and being the strength that keeps one going is seen throughout Of Mice and Men.
... that direct the course of their lives. George s dream is to own ... she ever even loved Curly. If I had went, I wouldn t be living like this you bet. (P 87) This ... hope for, and to strive for. In Steinbeck s Of Mice and Men, The characters George, Lennie, and Curly s Wife all have dreams ...