The American Dream in the novel ‘Of Mice And Men’ by John Steinbeck Connor Hockley 9H In the novel Of Mice and Men a major theme is the journey to live out the American dream. The American dream is a difficult concept to describe because the dream may be different for different people. The American dream may also be different depending on the time period in which the person lives. A person living in the sixties may have a different dream than someone who is living in the nineties. There are some similarities that are in most people’s dreams regardless of when they lived or who they are.
Most people’s American dream is to be successful. The generality may be similar however the meaning of success may differ from person to person. Most peoples dream includes being happy, healthy and surrounded by family and friends. However, dreams may differ in that some people may want to work hard, be healthy and have financial success. Others may dream of living off the land and working just enough to survive, while still being healthy and happy. In the novel Of Mice and Men each character had their own version of their American dream.
For George and Lennie, their American dream was to live on a farm without a boss and have rabbits to play with, “’an’ live on the fatta the lan’”. Lennie always asks George to tell him how it will be one day. Lennie wants to hear about the time when they will leave the farm where they work and buy their own farm. That will be the day when they can be independent and live their American dream. George says that they will have strawberries and rabbits and their own little house to live in without rules or restrictions.
George’s and Lennie’s dream is so appealing that Candy and Crooks want to join George’s and Lennie’s dream of owning their own farm because they think that George and Lennie are close to reaching that dream. George’s and Lennie’s dream appeals to Candy and Crooks because it is everything that they also want to have and have never achieved. However, perhaps this dream only appeals to them because they see it as something that will be reached soon. Candy and Crooks want to be able to live out the American dream even if it is someone else’s. I believe that George and Lennie would have achieved their American dream if Lennie had not been illed. Later on, Lennie thought of more appealing things for their dream, he thought about building a little house, like his grandpa’s old house, “I could build a small house like the one gran’pa had”. Also he adds about having pidgeons, and letting them fly around, “ An’ we’d keep a few pigeons to go flyin’ around the win’mill like they done when I was a kid”. George and Lennie are two very different men with very different interests in life, but they do share the same wish as so many other people even though they may not have the same race or come from the same country.
They may not be the same gender or age, but they are still all following the American Dream. The dream is so important to George because he will not have to look after Lennie all the time. He knows Lennie will be safe looking after the animals, so he can go off to the town and leave Lennie on the farm knowing that he will not get into trouble. George can then get pleasure out of farming the land. This will bring back memories of the childhood he obviously had on a farm when he was growing up. The dream is also important to Lennie because instead of bucking barley all day long, he will be able to look after his animals.
I have noticed that Lennie cannot interact with people as good as he can with animals and living on the farm will give him freedom to have the rabbits that he always talks about. “An’ rabbits, ‘Lennie said eagerly. ‘An I’d take care of ‘em”. I noticed that when Lennie keeps killing the mice “I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was dead” Steinbeck uses this to symbolise the corruption of George and Lennie’s dreams. This means that every time George and Lennie get close to earning enough money to buy their small farm.
Lennie gets in trouble so they quickly have to escape. This is the story of their life and they will always have to keep running form ranch to ranch. I think the American Dream is so important to George and Lennie because it is a sense of freedom. They are free to be who they want to be. Free to work whenever they want or do not want to. Lennie is free to look after is animals. George is free of looking after Lennie. Curley’s wife has a dream of becoming an actress in Hollywood, but she can not reach her dream because Curley is protective of her and will not let her do anything.
Her dream can not become true until Curley will let her do what she wants or she must leave Curley. She can not complete her dream until she does one of these two things. If Curley’s wife really wanted to become a movie star, she would leave Curley and work towards her dream. Perhaps her dream is just a dream and she lives the only life she thinks she can. The novel showed all the characters as shady, plus they were very against Crooks. The only reason why they were against Crooks, was because he was black. In those times black people didn’t have the same rights as white people.
That is why you can see from the novel, all the workers calling Crooks a “nigger”. The American dream can be reached with a little bit of luck, being in the right place at the right time and working to reach your goal. Dreams can only be achieved if you want to achieve it bad enough to work for it. Is the American Dream wishing for something you don’t have or is it working for something you hope to have in your future? Wishing for something you may never achieve, is possible but will most likely not become a reality. However, wishing for something that is within your grasp is what I believe the American Dream to be.