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Of Mice and Men and the American Dream Essay

John Stienbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men” is about the death of the American dream. George, Lennie and Candy’s dream is to own their own piece of land to work and live independently on. This dream is destroyed by Lennie’s ignorance and Lennie’s strength, which he cannot control. Curley’s wife’s dream is to be a famous Hollywood actress. Her dream is destroyed by her marriage to Curley and the Hollywood director who promised to contact her about her acting career but never has. Crook’s dream is for equality. Racism and the attitudes of others destroy this dream.

Lennie and George’s dream is to own a piece of land to work and live where they can have cows, pigs, chicken a vegetable patch with alfalfa and rabbits. “O. K Someday – we’re going to get the jack together and we’re going to have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and…” ‘An’ live off the fatal the land’ “We’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit-hunch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter we’ll just say the hell with going’ to work, and we’ll build up the fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain coming’ down on the roof. (Steinbeck 1937:18)

This quote illustrates the dream have about owning their own land and living independently on it, growing and harvesting their own crops in the vegetable patch, farming cows and goats for milk, pigs for ham and bacon and chickens for eggs. When Candy hears about this dream, he wants to become part of it by offering his saved money to fund the purchase of the piece of land and be able to work and live on the land with George and Lennie. George, Lennie and candy’s dream is destroyed by Lennie’s ignorance and Lennie’s ignorance of his own strength.

When Lennie is in a stressful situation, like when he wanted to pat the girl’s dress and she screamed, Lennie panics and doesn’t know what to do. Lennie’s strength and ignorance ruins their dream when Lennie and Curley’s wife are talking in the barn. Curley’s wife invites Lennie to feel how soft her hair is. Lennie patted her hair very hard. Curley’s wife, not wanting her hair to be messed up, jerks her head away. Because Lennie is confused he grabs her hair and tries to make her stop yelling.

But because Lennie does not know how to control his own strength, he squeezes Curley’s wife’s neck too hard and crushes her spine. Lennie then flees the ranch because Curley wants to kill him for what he did to his wife. So Lennie is not brutally murdered by Curley, George finds Lennie and, because he cannot get him out of trouble, shoots Lennie. Lennie’s uncontrollable strength and ignorance destroyed his, George and Candy’s dream Curley’s wife’s dream is to become a famous Hollywood actress.

She dreams of fame, fortune, fancy clothes and large, expensive hotels. Curley’s wife is waiting for a Hollywood director to mail her about becoming an actress. This dream is destroyed by her marriage to Curley because once she is married she is not allowed to pursue an acting career because she has to look after the house, because Curley will not allow her to leave the ranch to become an actress. Her dream is also destroyed by a Hollywood director who believed she had the potential to become a film actress.

Curley’s wife meets this director at a dance and he promises he would send her a letter about acting in one of his films, but she never gets the letter so she does not become an actress which is her dream. Her marriage to Curley and the Hollywood director who has not mailed her about her acting career destroys her dream. Crooks dream is to be equal. Because he is black, he is treated differently than others because of their racist attitudes. Crooks must not go in the bunkhouse so he has to sleep in the harness room.

He is also abused by the boss of the ranch whenever the boss gets angry. Crooks dreams that he can be treated the same as everyone else, so he does not have to sleep in the harness room instead of the bunkhouse or by abused by another man. “And he gave the stable buck hell, too” “Give the stable buck hell? ’ he asked ‘Sure. Yak see the stable buck’s a nigger. ” (Steinbeck 1937:22)This quote shows how Crooks is mistreated by the farm boss because he is a black man. The ranch boss thinks he can ill-treat and discriminate against Crooks because he is black.

Crooks dream of becoming equal is destroyed by the racist attitudes of others The novel “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck is about the death of the American dream. The dream of George, Lennie and Candy is to own their own piece of land to work and live on. Lennie’s ignorance and Lennie’s uncontrollable strength destroy this dream. Curley’s wife’s dream is to be a famous Hollywood actress. Her dream is destroyed by her marriage to Curley and the Hollywood director who promised to write to her about her acting career but never has. Crook’s dream is for equality. This dream is destroyed by racism and the attitudes of others.


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