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The Ways in Which Steinbeck Explores the Concept of the American Dream in Of Mice and Men

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The Ways in Which Steinbeck Explores the Concept of the American Dream in Of Mice and Men

The American Dream was a dream that nearly everyone had throughout the
twentieth century. It was hope for a better life and people believed
strongly that it would come true. The main characters in 'Of Mice &
Men' have a dream which was to get a plot of land and live on it and
become self-sufficient. The American Dream was not an achievable goal
for many people. Steinbeck shows this failure through the characters
of Lennie & George.

The American dream was a great thing. We first heard about it when
Lennie and George were sitting by the river at the beginning of the
book. The dream was a hope that every rancher had an opportunity for a
better life. Lennie and George, the two main characters, had such a
dream, "Some day were gonna get a little place and a couple of acres".
The idea was to get a piece of land, grow crops and have an improved
life there. They also new exactly what they were aiming for and what
they wanted. They realised that their imagination should not be set
too high for fear of disappointment. The two men also knew that they
should not tell other people about the plot of land in case it was
snatched from under their noses. This frequently happened then, as so
many people were seeking the same desire., "Well it's ten acres said
George. Got a little win mill. Got a little shack on it and a chicken
run. Got a kitchen, orchard, cherries, peaches, cots, nuts, got a few
berries." This shows that Lennie and George had ambition and again,
knew what they wanted. It also shows that there were places where the
dream had a chance of coming ...


... middle of paper ...


... work for nothing, just
his keep, why I'd come an lend a hand". You can see also that people
always put down the achievement of the dream, but they all had a
secret burning ambition to get it if the chance came around.

Through out the book Steinbeck managed to portray the conditions of
the Great Depression in the 1930's. He also gave us a glimpse of The
American Dream that every one pursued and showed us that it was not an
easy achievement. Steinbeck has managed to show the different levels
of hardship and suffering that people faced during that period of time
and also managed to show more hopeless situations of people from a
minority. The concept of the American Dream is at the heart of the
novel 'Of Mice & Men' and therefore allows Steinbeck to make comments
on American Society and the time of the Great Depression.


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