George and Lennie's Dream Chapter 1 and 2 (Page 14)
We're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and-
An' live off the fatta the lan'. An' have rabbits.
George and Candy's Conversation Chapter 3 and 4 (Page 61)
I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.
Curley's Wife Finds Lennie in the Barn Chapter 5 (Page 87)
Well, I ain't supposed to. George's scared I'll get in trouble.
I get lonely. You can talk to people, but I can't talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How'd you like not to talk to anybody?
George and Lennie set up camp and have a conversation about their dream of owning land and animals. While they talk, a snake glides through the water. George and Lennie's dream symbolizes the "American Dream" because of their hope to provide for themselves instead of relying on others. The snake symbolizes negativity and is associated with evil. Furthermore, it foreshadows that George and Lennie will not accomplish their dream . Therefore, the theme is that the "American Dream" is almost impossible to accomplish for the average person because of challenges along the way.
George Finds and Comforts Lennie Chapter 6 (Page 103)
I done another bad thing.
Candy admits to George that he should have been the one to kill his dog instead of Carlson. He figured that even though his dog did not deserve to die, letting it live would torture it more. Candy and his old dog foreshadow the fate of Lennie and George. George like Candy does not want to kill his loyal companion. However, he also knows that everyone wants him dead. Like the old dog, Lennie unintentionally causes problems. George feels that he should be the one to kill Lennie just as Candy felt about his dog. The theme revealed is that sometimes living things should be put out of their misery before they suffer more.
Curley's wife walks into the barn and starts talking to Lennie. Before she came in, Lennie accidentally killed his puppy and therefore does not want to talk to Curley's wife in fear in getting into more trouble with George. Loneliness can cause people to open up to anyone that will listen. Curley's wife does just that when she tells Lennie about her ruined dreams. The dead puppy foreshadows the accidental death of Curley's wife in the near future. In short, the theme is that loneliness can impact the decisions you make. At desperate times, you may trust someone that you necessarily should not. This decision could haunt you for the rest of your life.
A heron kills and eats a snake that is gliding through the Salinas River. Later, George finds Lennie by the river looking very upset. As a result, George tries to comfort him. Lennie finally understands how his destructive actions have prevented him and George from accomplishing their dream. The heron and the snake are foreshadowing the death of Lennie. Both Lennie and the snake wreak havoc on all those they meet, even if it is not intentional. Similarly, George and the heron are both killers. The theme is that making decisions without thinking first can lead to the destruction of your life and dreams.