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Living the American Dream: Of Mice and Men Essay

What is the American Dream? There are a myriad of aspects to it, but one general idea: the ideal life. It is making a lot of money, being respected, and triumphing difficult situations. In the book Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, Lennie and George’s dream is to live on a ranch of their own. But through these difficult times will their hard work pay off? In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck highlights Lennie, Crooks and Carlyss wife to demonstrate that many pursue the American Dream, but only a few succeed. Through out the novel Lennie had many little dreams. Their perfect world is one of independence. Workers like Lennie and George have no family, no home, and very little control over their lives; they only have what they carry. This gives them motivation to work and make money to go towards their dream.

“‘Well,’ said George, ‘we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof…'”(Steinbeck 14). Lennie has a dream before he even reaches the new ranch, he wants to tend the rabbits “an’ live of the fatta the lan’” (Steinbeck 14). He wants to be able to do what he loves to do. Will Lennie complete his dream? In the novel Of Mice and Men, Crooks similar to Lennie has many dreams. Crooks is very separated from the other men because of his race; they don’t converse or spend time with one and other. He feels very alone, he once said,” ‘Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black.

They say I stink. Well, I tell you, all of you stink to me.”(Steinbeck 68). Crooks dream is to be accepted and equal with the other men on the ranch. Just because he is only one of the black men in town he believes he should be treated the same way, he should be playing cards and going out with them. Crooks also wants to join Lennie and Candy in their dream at the new ranch, “…If you…guys would want a hand to work for nothing-just his keep, why I’d come and lend a hand…” (Steinbeck 76). Crooks wanted to join them so he wouldn’t be alone. Will he ever be accepted and accomplish his dream? Curley’s wife has a dream that although different in detail from the other’s dreams, is still very similar in its general desires.

Curley’s wife is very unsatisfied by Curly; she consistently hangs around the barn, trying to engage in other workers conversations. She wants companionship; she is so helpless she will talk to the men on the ranch that doesn’t like her. She also has a dream like the other men on the ranch; she wanted to be an actress in Hollywood. She imagines how great it would be to stay in nice hotels, own lots of beautiful clothes, and have people want to take her photograph (Steinbeck 89). Both attention and financial security would have been hers.

Like the men she desires friendship, and also material comforts, though the specifics of her dream differ from theirs. Will she ever achieve her dream? Many pursue the American Dream, but only a few succeed. In this novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck created many dreams for Lennie, Crooks, and Curley’s wife but none of them succeed. Lennie died he was shot by George, crooks bfjdlsfs, and Lennie killed Curley’s wife. Thought out the story these characters saw hope and they tried to catch it but they were not successful. Everyone dreams of the American Dream.

Works Cited:
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Group, 1937


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