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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Of Mice and Men. Explore the theme of the American dream and importance ...

    him talking about this is," they'll can me purty soon, jus' as soon as I cant swamp no bunk houses they'll put me on the county."

  2. Of Mice and Men

    Crooks: Called such because of a crooked spine, Steinbeck does not develop Crooks, the Negro stable buck, until the fourth chapter, describing him as a "proud, aloof man. He kept his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs" (74).

  1. Of Mice and Men

    Many farmers lost their farms and were forced into the life of itinerant workers. Their numbers were swelled by large numbers of unemployed due to the Depression of the 10's. Since so many workers were available, pay and conditions were very poor, as farm-owners exploited the situation.

  2. A breakdown of Steinbeck's 'Of mice and Men'.

    Although tempted by Candy, Lennie, and George's plan to buy their own place, Crooks is constantly reminded (in this case by Curley's wife) that he is inferior to whites and, out of pride, he refuses to take part in their future farm.

  1. Explain how the idea of the American Dream is explored in 'Of Mice and ...

    The reader gets the impression that something unforgivable might happen soon because Lennie has killed an animal and now seriously injured a human. In addition he next kills a pup that Slim gave him. 'Why do you got to get killed?

  2. In 'Of Mice and Men' Steinbeck explores the idea of the American dream. This ...

    green pool'' this is the pool of the Salinas River where the novel starts and ends. The two men are described as complete opposites. Lennie was a big man, but had a mind of a child, which he was mentally disabled.

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

    (Page 20). However he is also described as a "half-witted" and a "simpleton". George and Lennie became migrant workers due to the acts of the Wall Street Crash. Before they would have worked on a ranch somewhere in the East or in the "Dustbowl" of America.

  2. Why is the Idea 'The American Dream' Important in Of Mice and Men?

    Most ranch workers were unsatisfied; this was because of the poor social and economic conditions and the severe poverty. Many workers traveled alone without family or friends and were very lonely; the only place to get company was at the local cathouses and this would require wasting your hard earned money.

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