I'm writing an essay involving both Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row. It's not a comparison essay, it just uses both books. Anyways, criticize it all you want. Here's the first 2 paragraphs (the rest as I write them): In 1979, Monty Pythons Life of Brian was released with Graham Chapman starring as Brian, a man who is mistaken as a messiah, but wants nothing to do with the matter. After a series of unfortunate events, Brian is sentenced to death by crucifixion, but he remembers one important principle: Always look on the bright side of life. And as he hangs there on the crucifix, as optimistic as can be, he and the other criminals sing a now quite famous song about being as positive as can be, despite the fact that theyll soon be dead. John Steinbecks novels Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row both show this idea, even though they arent necessarily dealing with execution. Characters in both novels live in some pretty dismal environments, in poverty, and without a chance of moving up the economic ladder, but they get by. The people whom both Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men deal with attain happiness through remaining positive, and through all the trauma they deal with, staying optimistic is what keeps them motivated to live. Because of his very simple mind, it is not hard to see what makes Lennie happy. This mentally handicapped character from Of Mice and Men only has his dream of taking care of the rabbits on the farm that he and George strive to attain. While reaching this goal is implied to be an impossibility, Lennie is completely oblivious. But its what fuels his life, and this dream also pulls George, his caretaker/buddy, and Candy, an old soon to be broken down ranch worker, into it. George and Candy both know this vision will never come true, so why do they continue to discuss its details? It gives them some sort of purpose in their lives. The only thing to look forward to as a ranch hand is getting paid at the end of the month, and spending it gambling in a bar or visiting a whorehouse. Candys grown too old for those leisurely activities, along with being an able worker, and George cant because he has to care for Lennie. Essentially everything in these mens lives is horrible, and looks as though it would only go downhill. All they really can do, is dream.