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Autor: anton • December 14, 2010 • 1,025 Words (5 Pages) • 644 Views
The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
In the novel, "Of Mice and Men", Steinbeck questions the existence of
the American Dream.
"Of Mice and Men" is set in the Salinas Valley of California in the
United States of America during the time of the Depression.
During the Depression, businesses and banks closed and money was
worthless. Many people became unemployed and suffered poverty; they
were hungry with the lack of food, and homeless. It was only the rich,
who were able to survive the Depression.
Lennie and George have a dream: "We're gonna have a little house and a
couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs andÐ"ÑžÐ²‚¬Ð'¦ we'll have a big
vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens." Throughout the novel
Lennie keeps on talking about their dream, and both of them are very
anxious to wait for that dream to come true.
In my opinion, I believe Lennie is more excited than George in having
their dream. This is because; very frequently in every chapter Lennie
will continuously ask George to tell him about their dream.
Every time George enlightens Lennie with what they hope to come true,
the dream improves: "Well it's ten acres, got a little win'mill. Got a
little shack on it, an' a chicken run. Got a kitchen, orchard,
cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, got a few berries. They's a
place for alfalfa and plenty water to flood it. They's a pig-pen, An
rabbits." George is trying to make Lennie feel that the dream will
come true, as Lennie would be devastated if it did not.
The only possible way that the dream will work, is if both Lennie and
George work together.
Text Box: This picture shows a link between people, which is very similar to George and LennieÐ"ÑžÐ²‚¬Ð²„Ñžs connection.
They also talk about how keeping together is very important and lucky
for them: "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys
in the world." This is an empathetic comment remarking how other ranch
workers would feel when they are on their own.
However in the end of the story, George is putting Lennie out of his
misery, by shooting him, the dream can not work, as George is now on
his own, just as he said on the above quote.
George also told Lennie that they will have a future together: "We got
a future." This does not come true.
The dream which Lennie and George have is typical of the American
Dream. All of the sufferers of the Depression were having their own
interpretation of a dream.
The American Dream is based on the idea that everyone in the United
Sates has the chance to achieve success and prosperity.
Candy is the old, elderly man on the ranch. He is also disabled, as he
has lost his right hand. Candy has been with a dog, for most of his
life. The other ranch workers complain about the dog, as he is old and
smelly: "God awmight that dog stinks. Get him outta here, Candy! I
don't know nothing that stinks so bad as an old dog." The ranch
workers want Candy to get rid of his dog. Later, Carlson suggests
shooting it: "If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the
back of the head" The ranch workers now do want the old sheepdog out
of their bunkhouse, so they can breathe air, not the dogs smell.
Candy has more problems.
He feels that soon the boss will let Candy go, due to his lack of
physical strength and his age: "They'll can me purty soon". His
prediction has not been told, however the likeliness of Candy getting
let go is high.
This can compare Candy to his dog: "You seen what they done to my dog
tonight." Candy is referring that his George was killed, he feels that
he is very close to the happening to him.
Later in the story, Lennie and Candy talk. Lennie tells Candy about