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

Discuss the ways in which Steinbeck explores how the concept of the 'American Dream'is central to the novel Of Mice and Men "We've got a future and we're gonna get a place" The American Dream

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the ways in which Steinbeck explores how the concept of the 'American Dream'is central to the novel Of Mice and Men "We've got a future and we're gonna get a place" The American Dream is an ideal that has been 'dreamt' of since America was founded. The American Dream symbolises happiness, prosperity, equality and freedom. It was a strong idea, believed and supported by many, including most of the characters in the novel. People used the idea of the American Dream to help them stay positive, in what could be for some, quite a lonely and bleak life. For example, George used his and Lennie's hope of one day owning a farm to help Lennie progress and keep him happy when something had gone wrong. Even today, people still believe America to be the 'Land of Opportunity' and thousands of people each year try to become an American citizen in the hope that their life would improve. However, it was, and still is not, the perfect life it lived up to be. The main and most obvious link between the novel and the idea of an American Dream is George and Lennie's hope of one day owning a farm, "An' live off the fatta the land" (page 14). ...read more.

Middle

Steinbeck makes most of the characters unhappy, and not letting them have their dream, further depicts his unhappiness and lack of faith in the idea. His bitterness about the failure of his dream is portrayed in the novel, when all the characters dreams have collapsed and Steinbeck tells us, as an underlying message, that the American Dream, for most people, was completely unachievable. Steinbeck travelled around America, looking for work, like the men on the ranch, so he knew what it was like to feel lonely and have no real home or roots:"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world". (page 14) He may have felt lonely in his experiences of travelling, and describes George and Lennie's friendship as a relationship he would have liked to have had himself. The American Dream was often not exactly what people imagined. It is meant to be about equality, freedom, prosperity, and a better life for all. However, this idea, in many cases, is definitely unfounded. There is a great deal of prejudice and lack of equality throughout the novel. A few main examples of this are, most prominently, the fact that Crooks, the stable buck, is completely cut off from the other men, simply for being black. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are no other women on the ranch and she has nothing to do. She tries to befriend the men by hanging round the bunkhouse; however they seem to think she is flirting and call her a 'tart'. Crooks is segregated from the other men, just for being black, he wishes desperately for some companionship and is thrilled when Lennie and Candy give him some company for the night. Finally, the ranch itself is cut off and isolated from all other civilisation. Steinbeck depicts this by making George and Lennie have to walk for a long time to eventually arrives and only occasionally mentioning the town and no-where else. In summary the American Dream definitely lives up to its name; it truly is just a dream. The American Dream is lived out mainly through George and Lennie and their hopes of one day owning a farm, but all of the other characters have their ideas for a better life also. Of Mice and Men has consistent theme throughout, displaying how the 'dream' provides hope to its characters to protect them from the harsh reality of life where loneliness, poverty and injustice is the so common. The final ending, when Lennie dies and the other characters dreams collapse, confirms that the American Dream is unobtainable, but can truly be believed by all. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. How does Steinbeck present the American Dream in Of Mice And Men(TM)

    We know this because in the description of his room it is said that he has books on his shelves.

  2. The American dream "Of Mice and Men".

    He needs George by his side. Lennie wants the rabbits for his won comfort He just wants to play with them as friends. However, George is against Lennie's want because it has been accidents of Lennie killing his pets all along. Lennie did not learn from his mistakes at all.

  1. Compare the Ways in which John Steinbeck and Thomas Hardy Explore the Theme of ...

    proof of her marriage to Farmer Lodge before her very eyes - the thing that Rhoda herself so covets and desires for herself. As the creature draws closer, Rhoda grips its arm in fright and hurls it to the floor.

  2. How does John Steinbeck convey the importance of the American dream in his novel ...

    He wants to be his own boss and doesn't like to rely on someone else. He wants independence. George is the creator of Lennie's dreams and he shares it in himself although he hopes for it in an entirely different way.

  1. "Guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world, They got no family, ...

    Ever' one of you's scared the rest is goin' to get something on you" Because most of the men are scared of each other they shield themselves off from each other and so they are very lonely. By introducing the story of Lennie and George's dream at the beginning of

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

    When they first see the ranch boss, he comments on how the two are friends and says George, "...what stake you got in this guy? You takin' his pay away from him?" This shows how people thought a friendship like George and Lennie's was hard to come across.

  1. Explain how the idea of the American Dream is explored in 'Of Mice and ...

    With this stake they plan to buy a piece of land, 'a couple of acres'. On this piece of land they could 'have a little house...an' a cow and some pigs'. They also say 'We'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit-hutch and chickens'.

  2. Of Mice and Men - summary

    Curley's wife is seen as a flirtatious 'tart' by the other ranch-hands, true, Curley's wife does flirt, she is very conscious of the effect this has on men, but she is not a tart. She wants attention and by gaining that attention, she act the way people think.

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