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How does John Steinbeck convey the importance of the American dream in his novel of Mice and Men?

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Introduction

Mice of Men coursework How does John Steinbeck convey the importance of the American dream in his novel of Mice and Men? My coursework is in relation to John Steinbeck, and how he conveys the importance of the American dream in his novel Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men is based on 1930's America during the Great Depression. The American dream was no more, and the land of opportunity had become the land of misfortune. It was during this time that many farmers best hope for a new life lay in California. The American Dream is the idea of an individual overcoming all obstacles and beating all odds to one day be successful. This subject is the predominant theme in John Steinbeck's novel. This is a novel of defeated hope and the harsh reality of the American dream. Steinbeck's naturalistic and unrefined style of writing is helpful because of its ability to connect with his readers. The most important dream in this novel is that of the two main characters Lennie and George. They are poor, homeless, migrant workers who although their dream is essentially the same, they both want it for different reasons. They desperately cling to the notion that they are better than other workers who drift from ranch to ranch because, unlike the others, they have a plan for the future and they have each other. ...read more.

Middle

If we don't like a guy we can say, 'Get the hell out,' and by God he's got to do it."' This dream appeals to Candy from a wholly different angle because he realizes that due to his disability it will not be too long before he is unfit for farm work and eventually thrown out. This urges him to buy land of his own. This dream is more like a compromise to Candy because he is fully aware that that if he does live on a land of h is own he would not be able to work on the land, in this case the idea of security is the most important: 'Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunk houses they'll put me on the county. Maybe if I give you guys my money, you'll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain't no good at it' Candy is the first to discover the body of Curley's Wife. Subconsciously he is the one that first knows the end of his dream is nigh, "his face was hard and tight as wood". When he looks for confirmation he speaks "his greatest fear". Candy "dropped his head" showing how he has been defeated and destroyed psychologically and spiritually. Crooks is excluded from the bunkhouse because of the colour of his skin. ...read more.

Conclusion

The men just want some sort of security in their lives whereas Curley's wife wants to escape from the boredom and loneliness of being the boss's daughter-in-law. He attempts to convey the feelings and dreams of the American people at the time it was written. This doesn't mean that a person who lived in America at that time had these exact dreams, it means that many people in America had this sort of dream. This includes the 'American Dream', which many people who were moving to America were hoping for. I think that Steinbeck's use of dreams is very effective and found it very interesting trying to find the link between the dreams and the mood of the time. There are three main messages that Steinbeck is portraying in this novel. The first is of the loyalty and friendship which exists between George and Lennie and the rarity of this in 1930's working man's America. The second is of the hostile economic environment of America during this period. Thirdly is of the loneliness and isolation which each character experiences and the dream of a better life. The novel also illustrates the importance of moral responsibility, and veracity of social injustice. I believe that this is a reflection of Steinbeck's thoughts on the subject of the 'American Dream' and the false promises of the American government at that time. ...read more.

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