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

How does Steinbeck convey his concerns about the American dream through his presentation of George and Lennies dream?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Steinbeck convey his concerns about the American dream through his presentation of George and Lennie?s dream? In Steinbeck?s novella ?Of Mice and Men?, he frequently refers to the American Dream, a fantasy beheld by the two main characters George and Lennie. It is nationally held belief, fuelled by one?s desire to have their own home and land, that hard work and commitment lead to success and the potential to have all that you could ever need or desire. However it is suggested in Steinbeck?s non-fiction, ?America and Americans: Paradox and Dreams?, that he does not believe in this. Steinbeck refers to the American dream as an ?illusion?, suggesting that it is unattainable. The word illusion also has connotations of magic or tricks; this implies that Steinbeck thinks of the dream as a deception or ploy made by the United States to trap their natives in a sense of false contentment. Steinbeck states that ?[the dream] never comes to the immigrants?, implying that the achievement of the dream is not really based on hard work and commitment, but who the individual is and whether the people with the power want them to succeed in life. ...read more.

Middle

The reader learns as Lennie does that Curley?s wife poses a threat to their dream, and forebodes that she will have a derogatory affect upon it. George also uses many insulting names in reference to her, including ?jailbait?, suggesting that she is what will eventually lure them to their demise. This is reiterated in the structure in which Curley?s wife is presented. She always enters when the dream is being spoken of, and upon her entrance, the conversation comes to an abrupt stop. This is the situation when she is first introduced to the reader, and the ?sunshine in the doorway [is] cut off?. Curley?s wife stops them from talking about the dream, and also on her first introduction physically cuts off the light in the room in which they are in. This symbolises how her entrance into their lives instantly destroys all hope of achieving their dreams; this is the moments at which the reader knows the dream will never come true, and Curley?s wife will be the one to end it. All in all this emphasises the idea that Steinbeck considers the dream to be an unattainable illusion. ...read more.

Conclusion

This change from ?would? to ?will? creates a shift from suggestion to expectation. The reader has already anticipated that the characters will not achieve their dream, so this creates sympathy for the characters. Steinbeck presents the idea of how even if you know it is impossible for something to come true as George does, the desperation to believe it can eventually makes you oblivious to the impracticality of it. This desperation and longing for more on George and Lennie?s parts makes them as representatives in the novella of all migrant workers during the Great Depression seem tragic. Steinbeck builds George and Lennie?s dream as the exact opposite of the migrant worker lifestyle. The characters believe ?[they]?d belong there?, and the repetitive use of the verb ?belong? highlights the dramatic difference between their life now and the life they envisage in their dream. Steinbeck describes the American dream as a sense of permanency; the dream is ?the hunger for home ? [and] home is a permanent seat?. The life of migrant workers is the antithesis to this, with a complete lack of stability. This is enhances Steinbeck?s concern that the American dream id too ideal and therefore unlikely to ever come true for anyone. ...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. 'The American Dream'

    The other workers soon return from the fields for lunch and George and Lennie meet Slim, the most popular worker on the farm. George and Slim have a short conversation in which Slim comments on the rarity of George and Lennie's friendship.

  2. Compare the American dream with the reality of a migrant worker (Steinbecks - Of ...

    Us readers know that Crooks might be intelligent because he owns a few books. Crooks' room is separate from the others, this has made him bitter and reclusive. You could say he has enclosed himself away in a sort of protective shell.

  1. What is Miller's American dream and to what extent is Death Of A Salesman's ...

    Indeed, the term itself is open to argument. It seems to Russell that the Dream is ultimately about happiness and Money, and how they must somehow spawn from each other. Indeed, Willy makes many references to how one must be 'well liked' to succeed in business and that a happy personality is the key to monetary success.

  2. The American Dream

    They would have a little house of their own to live. '"We're gonna have a little house"' is exactly what George says. This exemplifies clearly one part of the dream, the thought of having a fixed roof over their heads.

  1. John Steinbeck

    He feels alone now that the dog that he raised from a pup is gone. But later that day after all the ranch workers leave and Candy, George and Lennie are left alone, Lennie starts talking about their dream and the land they are going to have, Candy is suddenly interested.

  2. The selected passage is the ending of Wide Sargasso Sea. Most of the selected ...

    of being watched and followed in a metaphoric way.7 Although Antoinette feels that she is being followed she does not look behind her as she walks through the hallway: ...but I never looked behind me for I did not want to see that ghost of a woman whom they say

  1. Compare the American Dream with the real lives of the migrant workers in the ...

    In the middle of the room stood a big square table littered with playing cards..." (Page 38). It can be described like a lonely hut, where the workers spend their free time. There is virtually no privacy and no freedom.

  2. Looking at George and Lennie's dream. Do you think that the dream had any ...

    An' by god he would.' This show they are the bosses in their own home and what they say goes. The dream was only make believe but at the ranch it could come true by letting Candy an old man with one hand in to the dream, he was know as 'The old swamper'.

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