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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?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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