• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

What is the role of dreamsin John Steinbeck's novella

Extracts from this document...


What is the role of dreams in John Steinbeck's novella 'Of Mice and Men' In John Steinbeck's novella, 'Of Mice and Men,' the role of dreams plays a very important part. The book was written during the 'Great Depression,' which occurred just after the well known 'Wall Street Crash.' The book Of Mice and Men was set in the depression of the 1930's in California in a place called Soledad. Men travelled around looking for any work they could find, they had to leave families and their homes just to make money. Even firms and companies went bankrupt; these were depressing and desperate times, with no hope and definitely no future. The Great depression caused long-term unemployment, migration, poverty and many young men had to travel across the nation to find a job in places such as California. As a consequence to the Great Depression, almost all of the citizens of the United States lived lives that were filled with unfulfilled dreams. Without dreams, no one would have a reason to keep going. In this essay, I will look at several of the main characters, whose desire and vision of their dreams draws them together in the only way that it will counteract the loneliness of their existence. The thought of achieving a personal dream seems to be the driving force behind the American society during the era of the 'Depression.' This was a time when many dreams were created; dreams of being successful, owning a land and looking after animals or growing crops. The people who had these dreams were mostly ranch workers, or migrants, people who never stay in one place long enough to form ever-lasting relationships, hence the dreams of many of the ranch workers in this beautiful novel. The American Dream Everyone has a dream to strive for. The poor ranch hands wish to be their own bosses, and actually have stability. ...read more.


His substantial sum of money and the fact that he knows of a place make it impossible for George to refuse him. Candy clings to this hope of a future as a drowning man would to a piece of driftwood. The idea of getting their land enchants the three men who were "bemused by the beauty of the thing and when this lovely thing should come about." Like Candy, Crooks is also a victim of circumstance. Crooks is a small man with a crooked spine who doesn't have any family or friends. The only thing that he has is his books. In the chapter where he is in his room, you can see all the books on the shelves and you can tell that he is an intelligent person and the only company he keeps are his books. He is very intelligent but extremely lonely. It is important to mention that Crooks is a black person. In general black people who live under white people have the dream to be white too, thus having acceptance in society. The personal dream of Crooks is to be accepted by the other white people so he can be equal to them, rather than being judged by them because of his colour. "They play cards in there," he says to Lennie, "but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink..." It appears that this is more a case of just having friendships regardless of skin colour, Crooks is desperate to have human companionship. When George and Lennie talk about their dream, Crooks is very sceptical. He doesn't believe in the dream because he thinks about it very realistically. He has experience in failed dreams of farm workers, "Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody never gets no land." As a result of constantly being discriminated against, Crook's has clearly become cynical which is why he reacts so scornfully when he hears about the dream of Lennie and Candy. ...read more.


Early in the story it seems as if they finally are going to realize the dream of their own spread. The one-handed Candy, who has $ 400 saved up, offers to throw in with them. It is almost enough to swing the deal. Then Curley's wife, who remains unnamed, ruins everything, the dream mostly. It seemed that everyone can be moved by the tragic plight of two solitary friends driven by a dream that was so simple yet so unattainable. In this way, John Steinbeck arouses sympathy for the oft-forgotten breed of migrant workers, who suffered silently in the post-Depression era. He took a simple tale and wove into it a moving, empathic questioning of something usually taken for granted - who could take part in the American Dream? However, George realises that the dream is over because Lennie is going to die no-matter what and there is nothing he can do about it. The best thing to do is just cover up his own tracks because if he doesn't, Curley will think that Lennie and George planned it together, (to kill his wife.) Of Mice and Men is a novel of compassion. It does not protest about life. It observes life and recreates it, leaving the reader to judge. Steinbeck introduces many characters that are not fully accepted by the society and reveals just how badly they are treated by other ranch hands. This makes the reader empathise and as one can clearly observe, the book seems to be a novel of 'compassion.' Dreams in general are in certain phases of sleep, more or less clear or predominated pictorial mental experiences with irregular situations, time and personality consciousness. Maybe dreams are important for humans, to make up some worlds of their own, where they can get or reach everything they want to. Perhaps they might be good if you're sad, to make you become happy again. However as dreams are just a kind of illusion, it may be dangerous to live always in a dream world. Nasra Salah 10C 1 ...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. The Great Depression of the 1930's was the hardest of hard times for millions ...

    The possibility that opens up for him, having his own bit of land he is prepared to give up his whole life savings, this is how desperate he is! The reader can understand why Candy is angry at Curly's wife when Lennie accidentally kills her; "You God damn tramp,' he said viciously, 'you done it, didn't you!

  2. How does John Steinbeck use George as a symbol of good friendship in ...

    Of Mice and Men, a novel written by John Steinbeck, clearly develops three themes: man's desire to create and seek dreams, man's desire for companionship, and man's responsibility to other members of society. First, a person's want to pursue their dreams is expressed through many of the characters.

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

    Another life is also lost and this is of Curley's wife in Lennie's hands. In "Of Mice And Men" a clear image of the setting is illustrated thus putting the readers in the shoes of the characters. The settings and surroundings are described in a way I feel that I could close my eyes and imagine I was there.

  2. Of Mice And Men. Most characters in the novella have revealed their dreams to ...

    movies, she started to think that she could work in the film industry: "Coulda been in the movies an' had nice clothes". Some people may think that this is due to her upbringing: She probably was brought up with entertainment via a TV or newspaper in her town, so she may of aspired to work with them.

  1. The novella Of Mice and Men fits in with the America dream because George ...

    The most obvious example is the dream farm, a dream shared at first only by George and Lennie, but which later spreads to include Candy and Crooks. Crooks reveals that his favourite dream is of the ranch: 'Seems like ever' guy got land in his head.

  2. the general and his labyrinth

    In general, Robert Ross can be described as a man whose quality of strength makes him fight until the end, regardless of the risks and traumas he is exposed to. The Wars and The General in his Labyrinth are two novels, in which the heroic actions of the protagonist can be contrasted based on their risks, personalities and failures.

  1. Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land', says Crooks to ...

    Hundreds of them. They come an' they quit an' go on; an' every damn on of 'em ever gets it.", Steinbeck shows this by making all plans that were planned by the characters not successful, this shows that heaven and dreams are just only in minds not in reality, this

  2. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck is a story of an unlikely friendship ...

    He got it comin' to him. Sometimes I'd like to bust him myself." This shows that their relationship is far from a loving one. They resent each other and cannot satisfy one another, neither emotionally or physically. This is shown when Curley's Wife admits that she knows where Curley goes.

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