Of Mice and Men the American Dream

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Bdbad11
Words 431
Pages 2
Throughout the 1930’s and the depression era the American dream was heavily desired. In “Of Mice and Men”, we can see how Lennie and George are determined to fulfill their dreams of owning their own farm. Steinbeck introduces the idea that the American dream might not have been possible. The American Dream can be difficult to describe as it is different for everyone. Since it is the American “dream”, it might not have been attainable in this depression era. The most important dream in this novel is that of Lennie and George, two poor and homeless migrant workers. Throughout the novel, Lennie is intrigued by George’s stories of their own little place. It is ironic how Lennie and his mental disabilities cause him to forget almost everything anybody says to him, yet he is able to remember every single detail stated in George’s stories. George even points this out when he asks Lennie why he doesn’t just tell the story since he knows every part of it. George and Lennie get potential help from Candy , an old swamper, when he says that he wants to be part of this farm and that he has money save up in the bank. With Candy contributing, George realizes that this dream might even be possible. George and Lennie are not the only characters that have a dream. Curly’s wife has a dream of becoming an actress in Hollywood. This dream was derived when she was a kid but once she married Curly this dream vanished. She became basically a prisoner of her own home devoid of social contact. The only social contact that she had was stepping into the workers bungalows looking for conversation. All Curly’s wife wants is to experience the world by herself. While the other characters dream about success or independence, Crooks strives for equality. On the ranch, Crooks is lonely and isolated most of the time, other than an occasional game of horseshoes or to fight as the other migrant…...

Similar Documents

How Does Steinbeck Explore Dreams in of Mice and Men?

...How does Steinbeck explore dreams? Of Mice and Men is set in the 1930’s in America. This was during the Great Depression. During this time, the vast majority of Americans lost almost everything they had up to the point that all they had left was their dreams and Steinbeck truly tries to convey this in the book. The book is mainly comprised of ranch hands and itinerant workers. To be an itinerant worker was to live a lonely life in isolation from the rest of the world. Again, all they have is their dreams. The isolation that each worker experiences, encourages individual dreams and Steinbeck show how, for a time at least, the American dream disappeared and this is typified when Slim makes a solemn remark, “Ain’t many guys who travel together. Maybe ever’body in the world is just scared of each other”. To fully understand how shattering that remark is you have to look back to the time before the Depression. There was prosperity. Anything was possible. America was seen as a land of opportunity and so was born the American Dream. The American Dream was a collective dream not only shared by Americans, but by people all around the world who saw America as a clean slate. By the time ‘Of Mice and Men’ was published, this was gone. Steinbeck shows this in the novel especially when he allows the reader to have their own insight into each characters individual dreams. This was intentional by Steinbeck as he was obviously trying to demonstrate how people are changed by the times......

Words: 592 - Pages: 3

Of Mice and Men

...Reading File – Class 5   1.   Summary Retell the story in your own words or attach a good summary from the internet (mentioning your source)..... The book Of Mice and Men is about two poor guys, George and Lennie, who travel together to find work. Lennie is a big, clumsy  man, who doesn’t know his own strength and he is also childlike, simple and easily forgetful. Lennie goes through  life with his fellow George, a smart guy and hard worker who takes care of Lennie. The book starts with  them walking down a road, they ran away from their job in Weed because the stupid, innocent Lennie touched a ladie’s dress (because Lennie likes soft things). Lennie and George have a shared dream: having their own farm, where they can keep all kinds of animals, and can live from their harvest when they have saved enough money. When they on their way to a ranch, hoping to find work, they sleep in the clearing (a place near a river) for one night. The next day they come to the bunkhouse and they get a job. Soon they meet the other workers on the ranch, including Curley, the son of the boss. Curley is mean, aggressive and a lightweight-boxer. Because he is so small he doesn’t like big guys, he feels threatened by them. So an aggressive look and a rude attitude is his first reaction when he sees big Lennie. The next day when Curley comes into the room, Lennie is attacked by Curley. But strong Lennie defends himself and crushes  (accidentally) the hand of Curley, because he tried to......

Words: 2159 - Pages: 9

Of Mice and Men

...Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is the American dream and the drive to attain it. The life of a ranch hand is grim, yet the characters in the novel are still vulnerable to dreams of a better life. The dream of owning land, called the American dream by some, is what motivates George and Lennie in their work on the ranch. It is their friendship that sustains this dream and makes it possible. While the dreams are credible to the reader, in the end all dreams are crushed, and the characters are defeated by their circumstances. The characters in Of Mice and Men have very little to look forward to as migrant ranch hands. They travel from ranch to ranch with all of their possessions in a bundle, looking for work for fifty dollars a month, and that work does not usually last very long. If a man is a good worker, he might be kept on at the ranch indefinitely and wind up as Candy does, old and crippled, just waiting until he is no longer useful. George explains the despair of a ranch hand to Lennie: Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to. (Steinbeck 13-14) Despite their destitute state, many of the characters in Of Mice and Men are prone to dream. George and Lennie dream of......

Words: 842 - Pages: 4

Of Mice and Men

...and devices in the first chapter. Their relationship is shown in different ways through âOf Mice and Menâ, and is such, that George is protective and makes decisions to prevent Lennie coming to harm. Also, Steinbeckâs presentation of relationship between the two men changes through the novella as they attempt to fulfil their dream-The American Dream. The first paragraph focussing on the two men (page 4) describes as one being a leader, and the other a follower. âThey had walked single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other.â Immediately, Steinbeck portrays the essence of George and Lennieâs relationship through the quote, that this relationship had a hierarchy; it was a leader and follower relationship, with one guiding the other. In the quote, one of the main words is âsingle fileâ, which suggests that George and Lennie are both children, because a group of children normally walk in a single file line. Furthermore, children always have dreams, which George and Lennie have-The American Dream, which is ironic because they are built and strong men acting like children. Another word which is important in the quotation is âopenâ, because we can infer from that word that Lennie chooses to walk behind George instead of beside, even though he has the choice. This can be because Lennie takes George to be the carer or the person who will guide Lennie to their dream, so therefore follow him. Later we discover that it is George who is ahead of Lennie and......

Words: 1022 - Pages: 5

How Does Steinbeck Present Dreams in of Mice and Men

...In the wake of the roaring twenties, and the beginnings of the Great Depression, there was an ideal called the American Dream that suggested that by talent, intelligence and a willingness to work hard, you could go from owning nothing…to gaining riches. This “dream” eluded many people, such as poor citizens from California and surrounding states and migrants suffering from the economical downfall from all parts of the world. It gave them false hopes and dreams of becoming wealthy and prosperous, when in reality, America was in the clutches of the most extensive and most profound economical/social depression ever known. The American Dream fooled endless people into believing that becoming successful is possible, no matter what your situation is. The victims of this fallacy, men and migrants, who owned nothing but the clothes on their backs, would end up living in squalid camps or wandering around the California Dust Bowl, searching for a job so they could make a meagre living. Despite all that was going on around him, each man would have his own small dream in his head of becoming a future success. Miller and Steinbeck were inspired by these dreamers and featured them in many of their books/plays. John Steinbeck was born on February 27th 1902. By the age of fourteen he had made up his mind to become a writer. He completed his first novel, Cup of Gold, in 1929. What is considered to be his finest, most ambitious work is The Grapes of Wrath, which was published in 1939.......

Words: 3641 - Pages: 15

Of Mice and Men

...These men led lonely and emotionless lives, which are reflected through Steinbeck’s portrayal of his characters in his famous, yet bleak, 1930s parable ‘Of Mice and Men.’  In the novel, George and Lennie’s relationship diversifies them from the other ranch workers for the reason that they rely on each other for support and companionship ‘I got you and you got me.’ In particular, the dream they share of owning their own land, reflects the American Dream of being the ringleader of your own life with a level of self- sufficiency. The dream is a significant aspect in their relationship and is portrayed in the poem ‘The Moment’. Apart from each other, the only other thing that George and Lennie have to keep them motivated is the dream. The poem opens with the line “The moment when, after many years of hard work and a long voyage”. This is a metaphor for the life that George and Lennie live as itinerant workers and how they move from ranch to ranch together to find work as well as describing their nomadic nature. The fourth line in The Moment is “house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,” This line depicts an image of George and Lennies’ dream of owning their own ranch and land to pet rabbits. Their dream was quite simple in the sense that all they ever wanted was a small ranch just for the two of them to live together. This shows us the simplicity of the two friends and how they both want to achieve the same thing. However the second stanza begins to show how the dream is......

Words: 2024 - Pages: 9

Of Mice and Men

...Of Mice and Men When reading the book Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, it was clear to me that he wanted the reader to read between the lines while reading his book. This book is much deeper than two grown men looking for work on the farms of Northern California; it’s a journey of friendship, hardships, and life lessons that are learned along the way. In the book, work is scares right now, and George and Lennie can’t seem to keep a job because of Lennie’s antics he can’t seem to stop. Some of it is due to Lennie’s mental state not being all the way there, and other parts is the just cant seem to stay away from “petty” people or animals. Despite both of them being broke, they both still have a dream of owning a farm eventually. This dream seems to be what keeps Lennie going, though George knows that they will probably never have enough money to have their own farm, he still tells Lennie that whenever things hit a rough patch. When they finally find work in Soledad, California things eventually go from bad to worse. When they arrive they meet the co-workers: Candy, Crooks, and Curly. To make matters worse Curly’s wife is a ‘”tart” a Lennie would like to pet her hair. As the weeks working on piles up, so do the trips to the whorehouse and the money spent. As expected, Lennie messed up again this time kills Curly’s wife in an attempt to “pet” her. This results in George hiding Lennie, and then shooting him in the back of the head to save him from what punishment......

Words: 762 - Pages: 4

Of Mice and Men

...Of Mice and Men The short story “Of Mice and Men” is written by author John Steinbeck and was first published in 1937. In the story we follow the two main characters George and Lennie’s attempt to fulfil The American Dream doing The Great Depression. The fame of the book has lead to the making of a film based on the book. The film is very similar to the book, however some things have been omitted. This is one of the main focuses of this analysis along with a comment on The American Dream as a theme. The filmatisation of “Of Mice and Men” leans close up to its book. Many times films are often twisted a lot and new scenes are added. However, after reading the book and watching the film this is not the case here. While you watch the film, you remember a lot of the quotes from the book, which are often said word by word. The director has, however, chosen to change the order of some of the scenes though they are the still same. This gives a different dynamic to the story in the film compared to the book. The scene with the girl in the red dress who cries out loud about Lennie, and forces him and George to run away, is an example(p 42-43.). A few more incidents happen before that specific scene in the book, but it is one of the first ones in the film. There is one very characteristic scene in the book where Lennie has run away and starts to hallucinate. He believes his dead Aunt Clara emerges from the bushes along with talking rabbits, which are also a huge symbol in the......

Words: 1165 - Pages: 5

Mice and Men Dreams

...John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men This scene in Of Mice and Men is made extra tense by the author, John Steinbeck, by a mixture of linguistic devices, description and speech. Curley’s wife is introduced in this scene and it starts by describing her. In the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck tells a story of dreams, hopes and loneliness. We are introduced to a majorly significant and complex character, Curley’s wife. Steinbeck shows us that Curley’s wife is flirtatious, mischievous but most of all an isolated character. She plays a main part in the novel; in doing this she displays and presents many of the main themes. Before we are presented to Curley’s wife, Candy talks about her, to George and Lennie. She is spoken about in a gossipy manor. “I think Curley’s married a … tart.” Steinbeck is prejudicing and preparing us before we meet Curley’s wife. He does this, so that we have an influenced preliminary impression of Curley’s wife and the way she acts. Steinbeck creates tension in this scene as, at the start, he builds up a stark image in our mind about how Curley’s wife looks. He also makes it very clear to us what both George and Lenny are thinking. Lenny is dazzled by Curley’s wife’s beauty whereas George is more wary of her and knows better than to chat with her too long. We develop an initial perception of Curley’s wife as being flirtatious and promiscuous. This is shown at the entrance of Curley’s wife’s. Steinbeck first introduces us to her appearance, “full...

Words: 696 - Pages: 3

Of Mice and Men

...Of Mice and Men is one of the most widely assigned modern novels in high schools because of both its form and the issues that it raises. John Steinbeck’s reliance on dialogue, as opposed to contextual description, makes the work accessible to young readers, as does his use of foreshadowing and recurrent images. Equally important is the way in which he intertwines the themes of loneliness and friendship and gives dignity to those characters, especially Lennie and Crooks, who are clearly different from their peers. By focusing on a group of lonely drifters, Steinbeck highlights the perceived isolation and sense of “otherness” that can seem so overwhelming when one is growing up. Of Mice and Men is also important because it explores the way in which events can conspire against the realization of one’s dreams. It pits a group of flawed individuals against a set of circumstances that they are unable to master or, in the case of Lennie, even to comprehend. This is a theme that Steinbeck also explores in his classic novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939). When Steinbeck began Of Mice and Men, he was planning to write a children’s book called Something That Happened. His intent was to demonstrate that events often have a momentum of their own and need not reflect the existence of a higher power that is exacting punishment. Perhaps it was for this reason that he decided to retitle the book, drawing from Robert Burns’s oft-quoted poem “To a Mouse,” which contains the line “The......

Words: 932 - Pages: 4

Of Mice and Men

...Of Mice and Men “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” This quote from James Truslow Adams “The epic of America”, states one of the themes in the novella Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck, the author of Of Mice and Men, deals with the topic of living through the great depression, as the readers follow the story of two migrants workers and their wish to fulfil their American Dream. Steinbeck’s inspiration for his novella can be linked back to his own life, as he was both born and raised in Salinas Valley, the most productive agricultural region in California. This essay will cover Of Mice and Men’s setting, the characterisation of major characters and the key themes identified within the novella. Two protagonists, Lennie and George, travel around together to obtain work. Within the novella, Steinbeck has presented two obvious settings, and focused on the contrast between them. Nearing the beginning of the book, the two men spend a night in a small, secluded glade near the river. The description of the nature area could be compared to heaven, just a beautiful place as described in this quote: “On one side of the river, the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Galiban mountains” (page 1, line 5), where the nature is described as majestic, strong and even golden. However a contrast is formed with the two men entering the......

Words: 1508 - Pages: 7

How Is the Theme of Broken Dreams and Hopelessness Presented in of Mice and Men and Death of a Salesman?

...How is the theme of Broken Dreams And Hopelessness presented In Of Mice And Men and Death Of A Salesman? By: Sara The themes of broken dreams and hopelessness are explored in the novel Of Mice and Men published in 1934 by Steinbeck, and also in the play Death of The Salesman written in 1949 by Miller. The desire to achieve the American dream which is to own land and be self-sufficient by being one's own boss is made evident in both texts as the protagonists Willy, George and Lennie aim to elevate their status and be successful. However, they face many obstacles and difficulties along the way. Miller and Steinbeck both criticize the American value of commercialism, as the dream to be successful is just a delusion; if you cannot sell or earn money to provide for your family then you are seen as weak and incapable of success. In both texts men are, therefore, marginalized and don't know where they belong. The tragic endings in both texts show the hopelessness of characters not achieving their goals and desires. The essay will explore how the writers portray the theme of hopelessness and the desire to achieve a dream that is ultimately unachievable. One of the ways Steinbeck shows how eagerly the protagonists are trying to achieve their dream is when George and Lennie find it difficult to get a job. This is shown when George tells Lennie to stay away from "bad things" like he did in "Weed". Steinbeck also reveals how Lennie acts as a barrier for George, as he prevents him......

Words: 1451 - Pages: 6

Of Mice and Men

...without Lennie, George is clearly devoted to his friend. He flees from town to town not to escape the trouble Lennie has caused, but to protect Lennie from its consequences. The men are uncommonly united by their shared dream of a better life on a farm where they can “live off the fatta the lan’,” as Lennie puts it. George articulates this vision by repeatedly telling the “story” of the future farm to his companion. Lennie believes unquestioningly in their dream, and his faith enables the hardened, cynical George to imagine the possibility of this dream becoming reality. In fact, George’s belief in it depends upon Lennie, for as soon as Lennie dies, George’s hope for a brighter future disappears. 2. Discuss the ways in which characters communicate with one another in the nove Steinbeck’s characters rarely communicate in a straightforward fashion, often relying on gestures to convey meaning. For example, George does not tell Lennie he loves him, but instead spins improbable stories about rabbit farms to keep his friend happy. Curley’s wife cannot express how bored she is in her marriage, so she hides from Curley whenever possible and flirts with many of the other men she meets. Candy cannot admit to a sentimental attachment to his aging dog, so he makes excuses or changes the subject when the other men ask him to put the dog out of its misery. The characters let their strongest feelings remain unstated throughout the novel. The effects of this widespread reticence are......

Words: 3789 - Pages: 16

Mice to Men

...Professor Gordon ENC 1102 TTH 830 am 19 November 2009 Research Paper Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck the author of the novel, Of Mice and Men, wrote a story about two migrant workers and their dream of one day owning their own piece of land (Bloom). George Milton and Lennie Small are the two main characters that travel together in search for work. The story took place in California, during the Great Depression, a time in history where everyone suffered from the economical problems and hardship. It was a hard era to live in, there was an extremely high unemployment rate, no one had a steady job and people had to adapt to a new living style. John Steinbeck was present at this time and had a firsthand experience working on a ranch (Leaf). He wrote about the American dream every human being wanted; through the characters of George and Lennie, who both dreamt for the same future, in owning their own land and working for no one else. These two characters are both similar in the sense of wanting the same thing, yet are completely different. Also, Steinbeck included a character, Curly, who lives every American dream and displays how he is. I am going to characterization these three major characters and show their part in the novel. The story begins with two different, thus alike men who are each other’s companion. George and Lennie are both men who work on ranches for money and do not have family, thus they both have a common future. They are both hard workers and optimistic......

Words: 1632 - Pages: 7

Mice and Men

...In Of Mice of Men by John Steinbeck it shows how ranch workers had a hard life and a bad future the workers were looking for independence. Dreams keep the migrant workers going, these dreams give the workers energy to work harder in the belief that one day their dream will come true. Dreams was a common theme in old days in mice and men it demonstrated by George and Lennie, Curley’s wife, and Candy. One of the example that George and Lennie has was the American Dream it was all about owning a little farm with a small house and lennie gets to tent the rabbits.George hopes that this dream will come true so he can have a better place to live.It is important to both men because it represents the independence and freedom that they presently do not enjoy being migrant workers. “Someday we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an a cow and some pigs”(Steinback,14) George was explaining to Lennie about how their dream will look like. Second, it was Curley’s wife She is married to a man she doesn't love and who doesn't love her. There are no other women on the ranch and she has nothing to do. She tries to get friends by hanging round the bunkhouse.She dreams about being a movie and a rich life.Her hopes were raised by a man who state that he would take her to Hollywood, but when she didn't receive a letter from him, she married Curley.“I coulda been in the movies, and had nice clothes an I coulda sat in them big hotels an had pitchers...

Words: 481 - Pages: 2