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Discuss the Importance of Dreams in 'Of Mice and Men'. In What Ways Can the Novella be seen As an Implicit Comment on Contemporary American Society?

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Introduction

Discuss the Importance of Dreams in 'Of Mice and Men'. In What Ways Can the Novella be seen As an Implicit Comment on Contemporary American Society? 'OK. Some day - we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and...' This is the dream of George and Lennie and the many other Americans sharing the same life style. In John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' it would seem the characters lives depend on them still believing in their dreams and that they will come true. In this essay I will describe the dreams that the different characters possess and how they effect their beliefs and their day to day lives. The 'American dream', which arose from the way America was first populated, was that of George and Lennie. By the end of the 1930s, due to the Wall Street Crash and the lack of virgin land still unclaimed by the American people, the dream was shattered. The economic depression in America that was triggered by the Wall Street crash of 1929 was the cause of the poor, laborious, and undeserved life that George, Lennie and many other Americans had to face. They would travel from farm to farm working for their food, their shelter and a small amount of money, which could, and often was, blown on a weekly night out at the local pub or whore house. ...read more.

Middle

'Sure,' said George. 'That's right. You couldn't find it in a hundred years.' He does not want to let Candy know about the whereabouts of the place as it is a place that they believe they are destined to own and they do not want to let it slip away. They are very cautious about sharing even though it is out of their grasp. This may be an implicit criticism of capitalism as if they were to let Candy in on their place they would be closer to fulfilling their dream. Then they find out about the some of money Candy is willing to invest if he gets to live and work on the land: 'They fell into silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true.' The dream they had had and spoken for all this time could now possibly be becoming a reality. Before, it had been a dream but a distant one and one they thought would never actually come true. Candy needs to be part of it for his sake as well. He sees it as an escape of his nightmare of having to work in the poor house and using his compensation money to keep him away from the poor house is an easy and safe getaway to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is ironic as many people in the novella dream to have close family like a mother but she walked out on hers trying to follow her own separate dream. Her dream is in the movies, as with many others from the time dreaming of fame and fortune in Hollywood (dream factory). Here, many people like Curley's wife are sucked in by this factory and become completely reliant on fulfilling their dream. George and Lennie's dream of owning their own bit of land and living without a boss to make them work and the insecurity of their work makes their dream seem like paradise to them. The dream is powerful in that it draws in others such as Crooks and Candy and it is what keeps Lennie and George going in what they do because they have this goal. This dream and the other dreams the different characters in the book possess are truly very important to the characters as they give them something to work towards and aim for in their world in which they are poor, unloved, insecure and in ownership of no material possessions. Their dream is a reflection of the way of American life in the 1930s and John Steinbeck tries to portray, through the novella, what the contemporary American way of life was for the people and the hardships they faced. America has failed the people in the novella. America has failed its poor. 1,709 words ...read more.

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