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What is Steinbeck saying about the American Dreamin 'Of mice and men'?

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What is Steinbeck saying about the American Dream? Following the collapse of the New York Wall Street stock market in 1929 the United States entered a lengthy period of economic depression. During this particular period in America's history numerous migrant workers such as George and Lennie flocked to California in search of work. The American Dream is something that all Americans would like to achieve, in this particular case Lennie and George wanted to work and become independent in the future. In the novel, "Of Mice and Men", men wanted their own piece of land and independence. Everybody in 'Of Mice and Men' has a dream in the novel but none more than George and his friend Lennie's dream. Curley's wife's dream was to become a movie star and patiently waited for the letter that never arrived. Her husband Curley wanted to become a boxer but his dream, like the rest of the characters, was shattered. George and Lennie used to live "in Weed" America and migrated to Northern California. Lennie, because of his immaturity and failure to remember things relies on George for his survival whereas George is short of stature, intelligent and projects self confidence. ...read more.


This here's my room". This shows that Crooks didn't want anything to do with the rest of the ranch due to the racism and most of all the depression. The other characters sucked into Lennie and George's dream are Candy and Crooks. Crooks is a negro stable buck that "got a crooked back where a horse kicked him". Crooks has an apple box which contained a range of medicine bottles, both for him and for the horses. Crooks is sucked into the dream as he wants to get away from the racism and abuse at the ranch and live on a bit of land like his father used to when Crooks was a child. Crooks' father used to own a chicken farm and for Crooks it was like reliving happier days. Crooks was called things like a "nigger" and was threatened by Curley's wife, "you know what I can do if you open your trap". Crooks has to pull out of the attempted dream as George found out that Lennie had been telling Crooks about what they had planned, " I thought I tol' you not to tell nobody about that". ...read more.


Her death, in a way, was a release because she didn't stop in her attempt to seek attention and Lennie, due to him being too innocent, didn't understand what he was doing and consequently took her life. Curley is a small, robust character whose dream was to become a professional boxer. He only really gets along with Slim and his father and despises Lennie and doesn't show much respect for George either. This maybe because Lennie is a big character and possibly is superior to Curley which would build up jealousy. Curley thinks he is fast and powerful but it backfires when he has a scuffle with Lennie as he consequently broke nearly bone in his hand, "this punk sure had it comin' to him. But -Jesus! He ain't hardly got no han'" All dreams, good and bad, are smashed as are some of the people involved. Steinbeck is saying that life in America during this period of time was difficult and the poor had to dream in order to cope with the hard ships. In my opinion Steinbeck is trying to say that the American Dream is a goal every human being has in life or an ambition. Steinbeck is saying that it is hard to achieve when a country is going through a period of depression. ...read more.

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