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

Many of the characters in "Of Mice and Men" live in the hope of a better life. How does Steinbeck show this idea of hope as dream rather than reality?

Extracts from this document...


Oliver Pulling Candidate No. 8207 Centre No. 65217 January 2003 Many of the characters in "Of Mice and Men" live in the hope of a better life. How does Steinbeck show this idea of hope as dream rather then reality? John Steinbeck's book "Of Mice and Men" was written in and is a story about two American labourers called George and Lennie. George protects his strong but stupid friend and shares the dream with Lennie of one day settling down and farming their own land. George is the smaller of the pair but he is the brains of them. The other main characters in the book are Crooks, Candy, Curly, Curly's wife and Slim. The book is set in the Southern states of America, a few miles away from "Soledad", on an isolated ranch and in the early years of America's depression. The book shows many different personalities and different peoples dreams. George and Lennie have an odd relationship where George seems totally responsible for Lennie as Lennie has obvious learning difficulties, which leads the pair into trouble. ...read more.


His living conditions are quite poor and his place that he sleeps is described as a "little shed that leans off the wall of the barn". Crooks bunk is described by Steinbeck as a "Long box filled with straw" The possessions which Crooks owns are "Medicine bottles", "Saddle soap", "Shoes", "Rubber boots", "Alarm clock", "Shotgun" and a "California civil code book". The fact that he owns a Californian civil code book is rather ironic as most of the rules exclude him because of the colour of his skin. In his past he has clearly experienced racism as he seems very uptight when talking to people and Steinbeck has set his book in the time when racism was still in America. Crooks has no real dream before he asks to be part of George, Lennie's and Candy's dream. When he first hears about there dream he is very scornful and Steinbeck cleverly uses Crooks position as an observer of how so many other people have had dreams that will never materialise into something real. ...read more.


She is married to a bloke she doesn't love, she is lonely, lacks attention, her dreams are unfulfilled and she is an attention seeker Until George allows Candy to join his and Lennie's dream the dream seems very far off and almost impossible to George. As soon as Candy joins in the dream seems almost a reality and very near to coming true and George remarks "Jesus Christ!" Lennie believes the dream will happen but doesn't seem very concerned about when as long as it does in the end. Steinbeck is very clever in the way in which he makes the dream seem impossible to start with but then believable and then ending the book tragically with people not knowing if the dream will happen. Steinbeck uses dreams throughout the book to convey the fact that the American dream is only a dream and although sometimes you catch a glimpse of it being real it ends up not materialising and just staying a dream. The book also shows the optimism of the people in American and the fact that they still dream even in the "Great Depression".` In conclusion, the American dream was nearly always a dream and never going to be reality. ...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. How does John Steinbeck use George as a symbol of good friendship in ...

    All the farm hands believe that killing the dog was in the favor of the dog's own good. Candy didn't want to lose his life long friend "I had him since he was a pup, I herded sheep with him."

  2. Why I think Candy was added by John Steinbeck to his book

    She becomes bitterer of the 'Weak ones' growing companionship, and uses her authority to re-establish the power of a white woman over a black crippled, by calling crooks cruel racist remarks. In her heap of envy she goes to the extent of threatening to 'Frame' Crooks.

  1. In this assignment I will explain why the main characters in Willy Russell's "Blood ...

    Slim agrees with Carlson and offers Candy one of his pups, at which Candy grows helpless and uncomfortable because he knows and respects Slim's unarguable authority. Another young worker, Whit, enters and diverts attention for a while by talking about a former worker whose letter to the editor appeared in a magazine.

  2. "Of mice and men". Steinbeck introduces the use of dreams through the characters of ...

    The dream somehow takes these men away from reality as their depression and problems momentarily vanish. I felt happy for these two men because their dream seems to lift them from unhappiness. I also felt glad for them because they both share the same dream and work together to try and achieve it.

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

    As Lennie's head is facing down the river, where it all began, George pulls out 'Carlson's Luger'. George describes the dream all over again to Lennie, knowing that it will not happen. He struggles when Lennie says 'Me an' you.'

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

    All men had a dream similar to this, to own a piece of land of there own, this was something on all workers mind, which kept them going. However the novella ends in tragedy. Steinbeck introduces the main characters, George and Lennie early in the book.

  1. How important is the idea of a dream (ambition, hope of a better future) ...

    Lennie also does not realise how difficult it will be to fulfil their dream and get a place of their own, he just thinks that they work on the ranch and get some money and go away and buy the farm as his brain only works things out simply Lennie's dream is a very simplified version of George's.

  2. How does Steinbeck present the hope of dream in contrast to the bitter reality ...

    The authors use of lexis to describe Curley?s wife ?She went on with her story quickly, before she could be interrupted? the lexis ?quickly? highlights her desperation to speak to someone and confidence about obtaining her dream Despite the fact that George repeatedly speaks of their dream, towards the end he reveals his uncertainty in the dream.

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