Comparing Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men And The Catcher In The

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Since the beginning of the United States of America, there has been a vision. A vision that all men had the right to the pursuit of happiness, and that through a man’s own hard work and persistence, he could achieve that happiness. This vision, often coined the American dream, upholds the idea that a man will be made or ruined by his own deeds and actions; a belief eerily similar to a saying of famous English philosopher Edmund Burke, in which he states “All men that are ruined, are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.”. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that popular American works in the 20th century, such as Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, would reflect this saying in their characters. In fact, both novels aptly demonstrate the validity of Burke’s statement through both the fate of their main characters Lennie Small and Holden Caulfield and the fortunes of various side characters that appear throughout the books. Lennie Small, one of the two main characters from Of Mice and Men, provided an excellent example of the truth in Burke’s statement when he brought about…show more content…
In Of Mice and Men it offered the fate of George and the other ranch hands. Their lot in life was summed up by another character in the novel, Crooks the stable buck, when Crooks told Lenny that he has seen hundreds of ranch workers come and go, each dreaming of owning their own land, but not one of them ever retaining enough control of their finances when it came to drink or women. (Steinbeck 72) In The Catcher in the Rye, it featured Straddler and the three tourist women; all four of whom were too wrapped up in themselves to successfully obtain the objects they sought.(Steinbeck) These side characters each brought some of their hopes and dreams to the table, and lost those hopes and dreams due to their wasteful

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