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

In this essay, I am going to write about the social and historical context of 'Of Mice and Men', and how the dreams of certain people in the ranch went wrong and ended in tragedy

Extracts from this document...


In this essay, I am going to write about the social and historical context of 'Of Mice and Men', and how the dreams of certain people in the ranch went wrong and ended in tragedy. Most of the characters in 'Of Mice and Men' admit, at one point or another, to dreaming of a different life. Before her death, Curley's wife confesses her desire to be a movie star. Crooks allows himself the for the fantasy of hoeing a patch of garden on Lennie's farm one day, and Candy latches on desperately to George's vision of owning a couple of acres. John Steinbeck wrote this novel because he wanted people to realise the consequences of the great American depression between 1930 and 1940. It showed how people interacted with each other and it showed the misery of the economical depression and how poor and different race people were treated. In 'Of Mice and Men' Steinbeck describes how punishing and challenging the life of migrant farmers could be. Just as George and Lennie dream of a better life on their own farm, these farmers dreamed of finding a better life in their world. ...read more.


Lennie is responsible for George's belief in this safe world, but eventually the nature of the world asserts itself and George can no longer maintain that belief. By shooting Lennie, George spares his friend's death that would be delivered by Curley, but he also puts his own dream into rest of a perfect world. One of the book's major themes revolves around Candy. The old handyman, left with only one hand as the result of an accident, worries that the boss soon will state him useless and order that he leave the ranch, as he explained to George and Lennie "They'll can me purty soon. Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunk-house". Candy's dog, once a sheepherder but now toothless, smelling and aged support's Candy's fear. Soon the dog said goodbye to Candy, as Carlson makes clear when he insists that Candy let him put the dog out of misery. For a brief time, the dream of living out of his days with George and Lennie on their dream farm distracts Candy from this reality. ...read more.


S'pose he took a powder and just ain't coming back." Only when Lennie threatens him with physical violence does he give up. What Crook dreams and wants more than anything else is a sense of belonging, to enjoy simple pleasure such as the right to enter the bunkhouse. This desire would explain why, even though he has reason to doubt George and Lennie's talk about the farm that they want to own, Crooks cannot help but ask if there might be room for him to come along and hoe in the garden. However, his desires would never come true because of the time he lived, a time where such dreams for him were impossible to become a reality. All of these dreams were typically American dreams where dreamers wish for untarnished happiness, for the freedom to follow their own desires. George and Lennie's dream of owning a farm, which would enable them to sustain themselves, and, most important, offer them protection from an inhospitable world, represents typically American ideal. Their journey, which awakens George to the impossibility of this dream, sadly proves that Crooks is right that such paradise of freedom and safety are not to be found in this world. ...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. Crooks essay

    When Lennie enters Crook's room out of curiosity, Crooks asserts his human rights stating, "This here's my room. Nobody got any right in here but me" This form of retaliation against Lennie is down to Crooks being isolated all the time.

  2. How does Hansberry write about dreams in ‘ A Raisin in the Sun’?

    Beneatha Younger is Walter's younger sister and Mama's daughter. Beneatha's main ambition is to become a doctor. A strong willed woman in the drama. Ruth also takes a lot of pride in being an intellectual. Mama is the mother of Walter and Beneatha and Ruth's mother-in-law. Mama is a very strong and religious woman in the play.

  1. Failed Dreams. Social Injustice in ‘Of Mice and Men’, and ‘Animal Farm’.

    Seeming to sense that Curley would bring them trouble, Lennie now became agitated and nervous about the job; but with no money to fall back on, the pair were forced to continue working at the ranch. Before nightfall, another ranch hand, a jerkline skinner named Slim, presented the childlike Lennie with a puppy from his dog's litter.

  2. Why Are Dreams Important in 'Of Mice and Men,' Related to the Context?

    The Dream is something that is a beacon of hope to the men on the ranch and if it wasn?t for the character of Lennie, none of the other men would have believed in it being a possible reality. The belief in The Dream stems from Lennie?s conviction in it, and this shows how childlike it is in its existence.

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