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.
They also help characters cope with misery and hardship, keeping them from succumbing to the difficulties they face regularly.
In their darkest moments, George and Lennie invoke their ranch like a spell that can temper their daily sufferings and injustices.
However, the fact that they do dream—often long after the possibility of realizing those dreams has vanished—suggests that dreaming serves a purpose in their lives.
What the characters ultimately fail to see is that, in Steinbeck’s harsh world, dreams are not only a source of happiness but a source of misery as well.In such cases, dreams become a source of intense bitterness because they seduce cynical men to believe in them and then mock those men for their gullibility.The workers’ love of Western magazines suggests just such a relationship to dreams: Each one scoffs at the magazines in public but manages to sneak furtive glances when no one else is looking, as if they secretly wanted to be the cowboy heroes of pulp fiction.No one seems to understand this bitterness better than Crooks, whose sullen self-loathing is never stronger than when he lets himself believe in Lennie’s dream, only to be brutally reminded by Curley’s wife that he is not entitled to happiness in a white man’s world.Ultimately, the dreams of ranches and rabbits that George and Lennie treasure are the very things that undo them.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. 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.Indeed, when others begin to believe in the dream-space that George has created, it becomes almost realer to them than the farm they work at, a phenomenon illustrated by Candy’s constant “figuring” about how to make good on their fantasy.Dreams help the characters feel like more active participants in their own lives because they allow them to believe that the choices they make can have real, tangible benefits.