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In what ways is Of Mice and Men an exploration of the idea of The American Dream?

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Introduction

In what ways is Of Mice and Men an exploration of the idea of The American Dream? In this essay I intend to explore how Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck convey the idea of the American dream. The elements of the American dream are broken dreams and inequality of the people. The American dream was that all men are to be treated equal. America was the solution to the inequalities between the rich and the poor. It was a land in which to make a fresh start. On the declaration of independence day, (July 4th 1775) someone said, 'We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. Abraham Lincoln also said, 'Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought fourth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 'all men are created equal'. The nation, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth'. ...read more.

Middle

George is more realistic about life because he understands the harsh realities, and is reluctant to tell Lennie the story, but once he does so he enjoys it. Without Lennie to drive him on, George is likely to spend his steak on gambling in poolrooms and chasing women as an antidote to hard work. Which he often refers to, when he is frustrated with Lennie. Candy is another person in the story with dreams, he is old, disabled, homeless and his greatest fear is that his dream will disappear. The dream they have is about having power over their lives, being able to turn away unwelcome visitors, and to warmly greet welcome ones and keep what they sow, which are matters they have no control of on the ranch. Even Crooks, who has to cope with the added disadvantage of being black in a racially prejudiced community, and who does not dare to have dreams, becomes mesmerized when Lennie and Candy talk about the small holding. For one brief minute it is his dream to. It is Crooks who puts George and Lennie's dream in the context of all migrant workers who, as part of a generation who experienced mass unemployment and social upheaval, shared visions of a better future in ...read more.

Conclusion

Even at Christmas when Crooks is invited into the bunkhouse he is picked on for a fight. In a distorted sense of fairness the others see no reason why Crooks should not be their victim just because he is black, but ironically, they make allowances for his back injury. Curley's wife is sexually discriminated against because she is a woman; few women could be economically independent in the 1930's, so marriage was their only option. The nameless woman marries a small-minded man who has no hesitation about leaving her at home on a Saturday night while he probably visits a brothel. He suspects her of being unfaithful and frowns on her attempts to fulfill the basic human need for company. To the workers she is jail bait. It is not worth their jobs to talk to her. The bunkhouse is the domain of men only, and there is no female company on the ranch. There is also discrimination against the disabled in this book. If you look towards the attitudes people have towards Lennie, without George his only options would be jail or a mental institution, referred to by Crooks in colloquial language as a booby-hatch. He joins the others in being a character whose futile efforts to create a better life are thwarted by a widespread social injustice in 1930's America. ...read more.

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