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Of Mice and Men - American dream

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Of Mice and Men John Ernest Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. From a very small age he loved books, his mother Olive would constantly read fairly tales to him and therefore at the age of five he was a fluent reader. In the later years he studied and also worked in New York and various other places, where he gained his experiences, found ideas etc which resulted in him writing many books and articles such as The Pearl (1947) - in which a poor diver finds a spectacular pearl but it brings only disaster. He died due to heart failure in December 1968 and buried in his home land, Salinas, California and in his lifetime had written eight spectacular books. Of Mice and Men came about in John Steinbeck's mind when he was undertaking a series of unskilled jobs, farm labourer, manuals etc. Working in the ranches had given him an idea and a whole new experience and this became the setting of the famous well known novel, it was published in 1937 and was an immediate success. But the original title of the book was not Of Mice and Men but was actually Something that Happened, Steinbeck chose Of Mice and Men from a Scottish poet who in his poem wrote '...the best laids plans O' Mice and Men aft gang agly' this meant that the best plans often go wrong in Scottish. The book was such a hit that it was re-written for plays, became a film staring famous actors, was also used in an educational technique etc. The distressing tale is about a fascinating friendship between two rare roaming workers at the time of the great depression in the years of the 1930s. It shows how the great "American dream" is emulsified. The book is embossed with history, particularly the great depression. Consequently after the fall of the New York Wall Street stock market in 1929, the United States lunged into an economic break down, which meant unemployed people, failed businesses, poverty etc. ...read more.


Slim understood very easily and was the only person that understood the relation and problems that George and Lennie had. Nearing the end Slim gives comfort when George is upset and says that what he has done had to be done and it was the right thing to do. Slim represents the wise people of the great depression; he takes life in a calm and mature manner. Of Mice and Men consists of many themes; these are Friendship, loyalty, loneliness, history, morals / tales and the American Dream. The bondage between George and Lennie is unusual. Their friendship amazes the other workers on the ranch, especially slim who took a keen interest and said 'Ain't many guys travel around together, May be ever' body in the whole damn world is scared of each other'. This means that friendship is rare, because of all the loneliness and isolation at that time, all people really wanted to do is work and get paid so that they can move on. When people saw George and Lennie they saw that they were supporting each other, they were looking after and taking care of each other, this made other people jealous and they try to destroy this friendship. But when George and Lennie came in for their new job, the supervisor thought that George was taking advantage over Lennie and using him, but we as the readers know that George really does care for Lennie, maybe through pity and duty but in the book when Lennie says that he could leave, George says no, because we know that he needs company and doesn't like being lonely. They act as if they are family and George is the big brother, as in the book George is the one that make the decisions and Lennie has to always follow. Nearing the end of the novel we see the loyalty and suffering that George had to go through and we see how the friendship exceeds. ...read more.


On one page alone there are over ten similes, this shows how much thought he has put into his work. The use of slang gives a sense of realism towards the character and gives an insight to the migrant workers that are not educated and unethical. Through George and Lennie we see that their language is very hard when they are in hard times, but nearing the end we see friendship between George's Language becoming softer as he makes a hard decision, that will decide Lennie's fate, through the language we see how much he cares for Lennie. A summary of all the points I have stated above would be that the dream and Friendship may not always be forever. Steinbeck in his book show how the American Dream is shattered and how Friendship can go so far as you will do anything for them. I think that you do not have to be a hero or villain to survive in the ranch and achieve your dreams, you have to be smart and be cautious. After the end of the book I think that the characters will be happy because Lennie was a burden, now that he is gone George may have the pay to get the dream ranch or he might want to join the other men and go to the whore house, he can now look after himself instead of look after somebody else. This story that Steinbeck has written help the reader understand the importance of being morally responsible to get what you want in life. You can always do something you want (as the song goes) 'with a little help from my friends' although this song was not out at that time. Being morally responsible means that you do things responsibly and sensibly, you do not waste, you do not make stupid decisions etc. And if the workers were smart, morally responsible, cautious etc they might achieve their dreams / ambitions even after the great depression. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mohammed Hussein Ahmed (Asghar Yusuf) 1 ...read more.

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