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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 2232 words

Discusshow Steinbeck is exploring the significance of dreams in "Of Mice and Men"

Extracts from this essay...


Discuss how Steinbeck is exploring the significance of dreams in "Of Mice and Men" One of the themes in "Of mice and Men" by John Steinbeck is the dreams that people have during the American Depression. He explores the sufferings they had, which is why he probably chose the title "Of Mice and Men" for his novel. He probably compared the lives of men in America in the American Depression with the lives of mice and how similar they were; the men in that time had to keep moving around the country searching for a job and mice had to keep moving because their home were constantly destroyed by the farmer as portrayed in the poem 'To a Mouse' by Robert Burns. In the book he explores the dreams the men and one woman have on a ranch outside the California's Salinas Valley, the place where he spent his childhood. Because of his experience of living in the Salinas ranch, it enables him to create believable characters by giving them proper 'American Slang' accents and also give a good description of the Salinas. The author may have thought the dreams as a significant part of people's lives; something that acted as a hope and future.


He talks to Lennie about how he "needs somebody-to be near him," and expresses his anger about not being allowed to "play rummy 'cause" he "was black." But because Crooks has spent most of his life without company he has the time to understand the world and "read plenty of books" about men's dreams, which makes him the character that tells the view of the author and also hints about the ending of the book. Crooks had said before that he has seen "guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land" and "ever' guy got land in his head" but "never god-damn one of 'em" really fulfilled his dream of owning land. Some people may not believe in Crook's after his revengeful idea of George not coming back to Lennie. I see Crooks as Candy and Lennie does- I do not believe in Crooks, as Iwant the dream to come true. Crooks himself knows this as he says "if I say something, why it's just a nigger sayin' it" However, John Steinbeck has shown that the significance of dreams has affected everyone including Crooks when he says "I'd come an' lend a hand" But at the end of the chapter, Crook's shows that he is not weak by saying "I wouldn't want no place like that."


As he has written about Crook's dreams, the writer has shown that he has considered dreams from different people and made each dream seem as important as each other by focusing on the dialogue and not what is happening around the characters. Because Steinbeck has included Crook's dreams within a book within a racist society makes me appreciate the significance of Crook's dreams as people in that time rarely get to hear about a coloured person's dreams. The dreams of Crook's are shown to be so important to him that he gets angry and takes revenge on Lennie for what white people have done to life. He tries to overpower Lennie by frightening him with the prospect of George "ain't coming back." This makes the reader think Crook's has a cruel personality and distrust his views of the results of men's dreams. These reasons may be probably why the author chose to use Crooks to give his views about the significance of dreams never coming true so it would not give away the ending. Steinbeck has written the book of dreams involving the reader so when the novel ends in Steinbeck's views it also changes the view of the reader about the reality of dreams in those times and also how significant they were to people. It also changes the way the readers think about characters such as Crooks. Sheena Lam 08/05/07 08:23

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