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The American Dream In John Steinbeck'S Of Mice And Men:

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Autor:  anton  14 December 2010
Tags:  American,  Steinbecks
Words: 1025   |   Pages: 5
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The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

In the novel, "Of Mice and Men", Steinbeck questions the existence of

the American Dream.

"Of Mice and Men" is set in the Salinas Valley of California in the

United States of America during the time of the Depression.

During the Depression, businesses and banks closed and money was

worthless. Many people became unemployed and suffered poverty; they

were hungry with the lack of food, and homeless. It was only the rich,

who were able to survive the Depression.

Lennie and George have a dream: "We're gonna have a little house and a

couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and… we'll have a big

vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens." Throughout the novel

Lennie keeps on talking about their dream, and both of them are very

anxious to wait for that dream to come true.

In my opinion, I believe Lennie is more excited than George in having

their dream. This is because; very frequently in every chapter Lennie

will continuously ask George to tell him about their dream.

Every time George enlightens Lennie with what they hope to come true,

the dream improves: "Well it's ten acres, got a little win'mill. Got a

little shack on it, an' a chicken run. Got a kitchen, orchard,

cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, got a few berries. They's a

place for alfalfa and plenty water to flood it. They's a pig-pen, An

rabbits." George is trying to make Lennie feel that the dream will

come true, as Lennie would be devastated if it did not.

The only possible way that the dream will work, is if both Lennie and

George work together.

Text Box: This picture shows a link between people, which is very similar to George and Lennie’s connection.


They also talk about how keeping together is very important and lucky

for them: "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys

in the world." This is an empathetic comment remarking how other ranch

workers would feel when they are on their own.

However in the end of the story, George is putting Lennie out of his

misery, by shooting him, the dream can not work, as George is now on

his own, just as he said on the above quote.

George also told Lennie that they will have a future together: "We got

a future." This does not come true.

The dream which Lennie and George have is typical of the American

Dream. All of the sufferers of the Depression were having their own

interpretation of a dream.

The American Dream is based on the idea that everyone in the United

Sates has the chance to achieve success and prosperity.

Candy is the old, elderly man on the ranch. He is also disabled, as he

has lost his right hand. Candy has been with a dog, for most of his

life. The other ranch workers complain about the dog, as he is old and

smelly: "God awmight that dog stinks. Get him outta here, Candy! I

don't know nothing that stinks so bad as an old dog." The ranch

workers want Candy to get rid of his dog. Later, Carlson suggests

shooting it: "If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the

back of the head" The ranch workers now do want the old sheepdog out

of their bunkhouse, so they can breathe air, not the dogs smell.

Candy has more problems.

He feels that soon the boss will let Candy go, due to his lack of

physical strength and his age: "They'll can me purty soon". His

prediction has not been told, however the likeliness of Candy getting

let go is high.

This can compare Candy to his dog: "You seen what they done to my dog

tonight." Candy is referring that his George was killed, he feels that

he is very close to the happening to him.

Later in the story, Lennie and Candy talk. Lennie tells Candy about

his dream with George. This interests Candy and he would like to be

part of George and Lennie's dream.

George is keen with Candy helping, as Candy can provide money for the


At this point, they would have liked to share that dream together.

Crooks is the black man in the ranch, working as the stable buck.

He is treated improperly, because of the colour of his skin.

Curley's wife especially treats Crooks in a rude way; she threatens

him with death if her orders are not completed: "I could get you

strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny". Crooks will obey

her, as he does not want any trouble.

Lennie and Crooks talk together. Lennie shares his and Georges dream

with Crooks. Crooks predicts what the outcome of the dream will be:

"They come, an' they quit an' go on; an' every damn one of 'em's got a

little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em gets

it." Crooks prediction was right.

Crooks also has a dream. His dream would be to be left alone from

racist behaviour to him.

Curley's wife is a desperate, lonely, sad girl.

She is married to Curley, the small, strong man, whom she does not

love, however, she is using Curley to go around the ranch and flirt

with the other male workers.

Curley's wife claims that she had been invited to star in a movie as

an actress, as her previous boyfriend said that she had the potential.

He was going to write to her inviting her, but her aunt had been

blamed for stealing those letters. That was her dream.

She talks to Lennie, but he has been commanded by George not to talk

to talk to her: "Don't you ever take a look at that bitch. I don't

care what she says and what she does. I seen 'em poison before, but I

never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be".

Lennie obeyed this; however, she began flirting with Lennie. He knew

that he should not talk to her, but she had brainwashed him.

She invited Lennie to feel her hair. Lennie enjoyed feeling her hair;

however, he went too far.

He strangled her, as she was shouting for help.

In conclusion, the American Dream is suggested to be a complete

failure, as none of the ranch members got what they wanted as a dream.

Candy, the old man, did not get his house with George and Lennie.

Crooks, the black man, did not have people discontinuing the racist

behaviour to him.

Curley's wife, the pretty flirt, did not get her position as an


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