• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why is the Idea 'The American Dream' Important in Of Mice and Men?

Extracts from this document...


Why is the Idea 'The American Dream' Important in Of Mice and Men? The American Dream is a fundamental theme in John Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men'. I will endeavor to examine how the theme is presented in the novel in order to determine why it is so important. Whilst exploiting the theme it will be imperative to consider the characters that hold this dream, I will focus on George and Lennie, the two central characters. In addition I will acknowledge the social and economic situation of the time, the Great Depression. The American Dream is an ideal, a hope that has been central to American culture since the formation of the country. When America was colonized by England the main reason for people wanting to immigrate there was land. ...read more.


Racism was a problem in this period of time, it was considered normal to call a black person nigger. In this novel crooks is the character that represents racism, he is not allowed to sleep with the other men and is referred to as nigger. In the story crooks explains to Lennie and Candy that they are not the only one's after a piece of land and that every man has a piece in his head. Women were treated as equally bad as black people. This is represented in the book by Curley's wife, Curley is always asking around to see if she has been in the bunk house because he is overly paranoid about her. Many think she is just a tramp and a tart that is giving men the eye but the reader later discovers that she is just lonely because Curley doesn't treat her with respect, but due to sexism she is treated like a flirt and a tramp. ...read more.


Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunkhouses they'll put me out on the county. Maybe if I gave you guys my money you'll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain't no good at it." There is no friendship on the ranch; George and Lennie are the only two workers that travel around together everyone is lonely and again wants to escape this situation. The only way to escape this situation is to have hope and the hope is the "American Dream" The novel is all about the hopes of men and how they are crushed, "The American Dream" was a common hope during the time period in which the book is set, it was also a hope before and after but it was especially common during this time. Because the book is about dreams being crushed and George and Lennie's dream fails in the novel the "American Dream" is a central theme in "Of Mice and Men" ...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. Of Mice and Men. Explore the theme of the American dream and importance ...

    him saying this is," I aint' much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the gardens some." He also says that," 'I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives nor nothing."

  2. How is the American Dream, the idea that everyone can achieve their fortune, presented ...

    He's alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he's mad at 'em because he ain't a big guy." Curley is also described as a very angry, violent person, "he glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie.

  1. How important were liberal reforms 1907-1911

    These four people are representing both sexes of both the lower and upper classes which was all the people in Britain at that time. Lloyd George is the only one supporting the bill in the picture with the rest of the four people portraying everyone in Britain's view, as being

  2. Explain how the idea of the American Dream is explored in 'Of Mice and ...

    'Why do you got to get killed? You ain't so little as mice. I didn't bounce you hard.' This conveys Lennie to be a caring person but it's his obsession to pet things that ruins it for him. Lennie's dream is to 'tend the rabbits', when George gets 'the little house'.

  1. In 'Of Mice and Men' Steinbeck explores the idea of the American dream. This ...

    George is like a father to him, George expresses Steinbeck's attitude towards Lennie as a compassionate and sympathetic person. George and Lennie's relationship is of friendship and dependence, although they both depend of each other; it seems at first as if Lennie totally depends on George, this is shown when

  2. Of Mice and Men is set in the American depression of 1937.

    At this point my opinion changes about George, I think he has a slight nervous disposition and perhaps isn't so happy about his relationship with Lennie. I don't think George is happy with his relationship with Lennie all the time because I think he is getting tired of looking after Lennie and just wants to get old gracefully.

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