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The American Dream

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Introduction

Explain how the American Dream is explored in "Of Mice and Men". You should discuss how the novel describes the attraction of the dream and how it shows the dreams of the characters being dashed. The book "Of Mice and Men", written by John Steinbeck, is set in the 1930's. It analyses the importance of the American Dream and the cruel reality of the life of Itinerant workers. Many People have dreams in life, although in order to meet that dream, one must face the truth first. The truth for many people at this time was that their hopes would never become real. The narrative deals with the American attraction to land and the dreams of the characters which are completely eradicated later on in the novel. The novel commences with an immediate setting of the scene. An incredibly detailed description sets the readers up for the introduction of our first individuals and the for-coming action soon to take place. They break the silence of the revealed place and we are given the impression they are almost intruding on nature. George and Lennie are familiarized at the beginning. Steinbeck's description of them shows them to be Itinerant workers who have stuck together. Their rough appearances and Lennie's comparison to a bear, "...dragging his feet a little the way a bear does its paws" suggests that the life of these characters is one of constantly moving. Each chapter starts the same way; the setting of scene and the symbolism he uses. For example a little further into the story he uses the darkness and the quietness of the barn to reflect one characters personality. She appears through the darkness and immediately starts an argument. The sneakiness of her and the dark subtly hints that this character is bad. The chapters start with descriptions of where everyone is at the time and the key ideas that are forthcoming. ...read more.

Middle

An I'll wash dishes an' little chicken stuff like that"'. He warms to the idea; '"...went on excitedly"'. This tells us that Candy gets lost in the moment and is excited about the good things and ideas in life. Perhaps it also tells us that he agrees to the point so quickly there is room to get hurt or disappointed rapidly too. To be able to work unpaid, just doing things for his keep, is the ingredient he adds to the dream's recipe. '"I could cook"' is what he offers as well as all the odd jobs. All these little responsibilities he enjoys and would like to do for free. He wants to leave the world of money alone and work for his keep. Food and a bed is what he'd look forward to every night; debt free and knowing he has enjoyed his day. I am certain that he would not be made to "...swamp out wash rooms". Could his dream become a reality? Nothing is impossible yet no one can be convinced that George actually knows of such a place as he elucidates during this chapter. There is also a great doubt as to whether Lennie and George would be able to earn that 50 bucks as soon as possible. After all, their brief introduction with Curley, the husband of our next established character, did not go amazingly and it is pretty evident that these men will not get on well. And as for Candy, would he be able to keep it a secret? '"Don't tell nobody about it"' is what George tells him to do. In spite of the plan, they have only just met. It's possible that the word of the ambition will get around before the money is essentially secured. Curley's wife does not have a name; she is made out to be incredibly evil. Steinbeck makes her out to be worse than Satan himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps she says it because if she cannot be happy why should anyone else. If her dream is never going to be achieved why should others have the benefit of attaining theirs? Especially if their skin is a darker shade then hers; to her this is outrageous. When she is described to have '"...a brittle quality"' her actions towards Crooks are explained. Crooks is more emotionally hurt than anything else. All he wants is somewhere he fits in and is valued. It's people like Curley's wife who make life so much harder for him and make it nearly impossible to achieve anything. Just because of his skin. Disgusting. When Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife, George and consequently Candy's and Crooks dream is destroyed. In a way their grouped dream is like a puzzle; each one of them is a piece and without Lennie the picture is not complete. They may all potentially lose their jobs because of this death and that means no money. Without the money they cannot by the small ranch of the old couple. This means they will have to start from the beginning and work their way up, saving money and getting to a point where they have enough money to secure the place they want to. Just one factor will change; there will be no Lennie. The characters from "Of Mice and Men" all have reasonable dreams which could be easily achieved in our society. Their dreams, sadly, are all shattered by causes some of us would never really consider being a heart crushing thing such as not being able to earn enough money or not receiving a letter. The contents and purpose of dreams are not fully understood, though they have been topic of speculation and interest throughout history. They now seem to be something you do to make you happy. The dreams of George, Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and Crooks, nonetheless will never become a reality, making the dream a rather depressing burden of life for many people in an already fragile 1930's American world. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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