• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the importance of dreams in Of Mice and Men

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the importance of dreams in Of Mice and Men Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men is set in America in the 1930s. This was a time and a place where some people were discriminated against because of their lifestyle. The fundamental cause of this was a hierarchy that existed within American civilisation. The rich and the powerful were given a place in society whereas the working class were outcasts. Of Mice and Men is a novella of outcasts. Steinbeck explores how discrimination dominates the lives of these outcasts: racial discrimination against Crooks, age discrimination against Candy, gender discrimination against Curley's wife and discrimination against Lennie because of his mental disability. The similarity between all the outcasts is that they all dream of an existence where they are not the victims of discrimination, and this dream is their sole motivation in life. Their dream is the American Dream. Through these outcasts, Steinbeck details everything that was morally wrong with 1930s America. The reason for this was the instability of the 1930s American economy; the Wall Street crash in 1929 being one example. The result of this was a high level of unemployment, and it was these people who were the outcasts. 1930s America rejects Lennie because of his mental ineptitude. ...read more.


Although he is not progressing in life; he is not digressing. But given the opportunity he also clings on to Lennie, George and Candy's dream. This shows that although he does not dream, he has longings and desires. Steinbeck reveals this through use of nostalgic language, in Crooks' desire to re-experience the feeling of equality he felt when he was a child, "The white kids came to play at our place, an' sometimes I went to play with them." Crooks dreams of equality, this is evident in the books he reads; in particular the Californian Civil Code. He longs for a civilisation where he can be treated equally. For Crooks, his desire for equality dominates his life as dreams dominate the lives of the other outcasts. Candy is discriminated against because he is old and useless. In an environment where respect is earned through physical competence, Candy has no respect from his fellow ranch workers. However, the most painful thing for Candy is the feeling of not belonging and lack of purpose. He has these feelings because he is old and has lived most of his life; he has left no mark on the world. Other workers, younger workers, like Whit, have dreams of making a mark on the world as Candy probably had when he was younger. ...read more.


It is ironic how the death of the forgotten outcast brings about the end of all the other outcasts' dreams. To conclude, dreams are important in the novella because they are the only thing the outcasts can cling on to. They are discriminated against to the extent that they cannot achieve success; they are doomed to failure. Even their dreams, the only means by which they can escape the monotony of 1930s America, are destroyed by their compromised circumstances. Steinbeck shows the reader how important dreams are for the poor. Only the poor that have a dream can live their lives with their dream as an incentive. Steinbeck sums up the injustice of 1930s America at the end of the novella. Curley's dream of killing Lennie comes true, it is an evil dream and it is the only one in the novella that comes true; the dream of one man with a little power and authority over the dreams of all the poor. (Although Crooks' dream of equality does become true it is a long time after the novella is written, and he does not experience this so it can be said that his dream did not come true) Through the dreams of the poor Steinbeck conveys many things that were wrong with 1930s America. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. Hopes and dreams are important in "Of Mice and Men." Discuss.

    It is not only the basis of the plot and the theme of the novella, but it is shared by other characters, and gives people who have nothing something to cling onto - a chance of a change, and a better life.

  2. Explore John Steinbeck's presentation in Of Mice and Men of the culture and experience ...

    all share the American Dream, which is 'all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.' (3) This dream was no longer possible in America due to the great depression.

  1. Why I think Candy was added by John Steinbeck to his book

    Crooks' other dream is to get a big stake and buy a house. His dream is a lot like George and Lennies dream. As mentioned before Crooks would like to be white this is how the writer conveys how low black people where at that time regarded as 'He's the Negro' The Negro of the ranch.

  2. Discuss the importance of dreams in "Of Mice and Men"

    A lot of people might see the land and start working towards owning the land. That piece of land becomes their dream. George and Lennie are perhaps the most important characters in the book because it is from them that we notice the relevance of dreams to people in the time.

  1. Of Mice And Men. Most characters in the novella have revealed their dreams to ...

    The prejudice toward his almost retarded self is the reason that he would have more severe punishments than the regular man. This is another way that 1930's American society can be blamed for the destruction of George and Lennie's dream.

  2. Discuss the Importance of Dreams in 'Of Mice and Men'. In What Ways Can ...

    Lennie is dependent on George as he has the mental age of a three-year-old child yet is stuck in the body of a huge and very strong grown man. He often makes mistakes and would not be able to achieve much at all without George as his father figure and protector.

  1. Pretty woman is a conflicted tale about prostitution and dreams - how we prostitute ...

    Through out the film we see what the characters within the film have had to do to achieve their dreams The first scene in the film is a business gathering where the main topics of conversation are either money or girls; these are the main ingredients of prostitution.

  2. Discuss the importance of dreams in 'Of Mice and Men'.

    After Lennie shatters Curley's ego by damaging his hand, and showing him up in front of the ranch, Curley's ego suddenly rises when he threatens to kill Lennie even though he is short of a hand, and taking the situation into his own hands.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work