The American Dream Essay
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This unveils a selfish side of George of wanting to be alone contrasting with the element of teamwork. It also shows how George doesn’t want to get to affiliated with the dream which brings false hope. The next iteration of the dream comes up in the middle of the book. Steinbeck waits until the middle of the book to build up tension to see if the dream is achievable or not. This time Lennie asks George to tell the story again however this time in front of Candy.
Candy, after looking at his dog become a old useless dog from a great sheepdog, realises his fate is to be put on the roadside soon.
He also wasn’t able to put his dog out of it’s misery. This fear keeps him from making anything more of his life. He can’t stand up for his pet, because he can’t stand up for himself. ‘Old Candy turned slowly over. His eyes were wide open’. Although Candy did follow the dream a long time ago and learnt the hard way that it isn’t possible, his attention is averted straight away when George starts reciting the dream. Candy wants the “George and Lennie’s Dream” to “George and Lennie and Candy’s Dream”. Eventhough this helps George and Lennie, we fear it may fail as he is afraid to make decisions of his own.
Candy brings hope to the dream because he solves all finical problems by pooling his own money as well. After Candy becomes part of the dream it suddenly becomes a possibility, a reality. Instead of using ‘will’ in the dreams as motivation, George starts using ‘could’ as there is a chance of achieving the dream. However the conditional could be seen negatively as it only “could” happen, it is not necessary. Although at first the dream is modest, ‘a few pigs’ and a ‘little win’mill’, it becomes more and more over the top, ‘we could catch a hundred of them’.
This could suggest things will get better from here on however it could be just a fantasy therefore brings false hope to both Lennie, George and us. Also George starts to focus more on the food features of the dream. They start to own more animals and have more fruit orchards. Their dreams are getting on top of their heads. This passage also shows the flaws in the idea of achieving the dream through teamwork and friendship. When Candy asks if he could join them in their dream, George rejects him with every sentence Candy says: ‘Say- what’s it to you? You got nothing to
do with us’. George says ‘we was always gonna do it by ourselves’. This suggests that the dream brings the selfishness of the person out as they don’t want to share the wealth and luxury as they are convinced they are different and are capable of achieving the dream. On the other hand, you could say George was being protective of Lennie as he gets in trouble easily, then the dream would be a something that brings Lennie and George closer. The salmon in the dream represents both the actual dream and the people who follow it. ‘The salmon run up river’.
This suggests the dream is hard to reach as swimming up a river is different. Also as salmon come back to their birth place to lay their eggs through natural instinct, it backs up the idea that following the ‘American Dream’ is a natural thing humans do. The ‘salmon’ running represents the desperate desire to reach the goal and the freedom the dream awards. As you need energy to run, it suggests that the dream is a motivation or the energy to move forward in life. Also, the salmon are moving up which suggest that Lennie and George are actually progressing and are advancing towards their goal.
‘Hundreds of ’em’ ran up river’ shows us again how many have followed the same dream. At this point of time George is layed back and is relaxed using colloquial language. When he uses the polysyndeton on ‘and’ again he takes the “d” off. Also he says ‘ever’ Sunday’ instead of “every sunday”. This again presents the idea of plenty as the “y” is taken off to form ‘ever’ Sunday’ or “forever Sunday’. At the beginning of the book he recited the dream as though it was something like an end of year resolution, however, now he seems so sure he is going to achieve the dream that he is lying on his back.
However this reflects on Aesop’s Fable of “The Hare and the Tortoise”. The hare is so sure of winning he takes a break and relaxes so he loses. Therefore, it suggests again that the dream is never going to become a reality unless they shake out of their trance and over confidence. The story is cyclical so it shows how Lennie and George have gotten no where. Steinbeck brings the concept of stroking a dead mouse back only this time stroking a dead puppy. They have also come back next to the Salinas River. This suggests they have gotten nowhere, no closer to the dream than before.
As George decided to make Lennie come back to the river suggests George foreboded something was going to happen. Therefore their destiny was already doomed. The last telling of the dream is kept for Lennie. When Lennie asks George if he can recite the dream again George doesn’t hesitate to do it unlike other times. He has gotten back to using the word “will” again for old times sake. The dream’s value has gone back down to a bedtime story, however only this time it is the last words Lennie will ever here before dying. The ‘crash of the shot’ is like closing the book of the bedtime story.
As it has been an abrupt ending it suggests the dream died with Lennie. Throughout this book , Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck is very critical of the ‘American Dream’. Steinbeck breaks down all barriers of men and reveals the true inner self of each character. Through Lennie and Georges exploration of …. Steinbeck portrays how men, on the inside, desperately crave for the dream but when they do get it, they take it for granted. We can establish that in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses advanced linguistic, grammatical and structural techniques to outline how the American Dream is a phoney and can only ever be a dream.
A dream which is too far beyond our reach. The harder they try, the closer they seem to get but fail, to feel more pathetic. Lennie gets controlled by the dream and It ain’t the same if I tell it The deep and green / deep green pool may suggest the dream. green part – hard work water snake and heron Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.