Comparing The American Dream In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Through his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck expresses the cruel reality of the American Dream in which it is nothing more than an illusion. The novel contains various themes such as loneliness, isolation and friendship although the primary theme is that of the misleading nature of the American Dream. The American Dream is the idea that anyone can achieve a better life through hard work and determination. What John Steinbeck is saying is that the rich and the wealthy obtain their fortune at the expense of the poor and needy; therefore, any dreams that exist under the influence of this exploitation will never be anything more than dreams. Steinbeck examines the conflicts between social classes primarily with the exploitation of workers by those in higher positions. In the novel…show more content…
George and Lennie are constantly exploited just as millions of other unemployed at the time. Migrant laborers were among the lowest class at the time, travelling to find any work just to survive. Despite this, George and Lennie maintain an ideal image of life and have a dream for the future. The two dream of owning their own ranch where it is safe and they are their own bosses. Although they share the same dream it means completely different things to them. For George, having their own ranch symbolizes independence and security and above all being “somebody.” While to Lennie, having their own ranch symbolizes a place where he doesn’t have to be afraid of those around him and where he can have the responsibility of tending to his rabbits. In the novel many other characters have dreams of their own such as Curley's wife dreams of being a movie star, Crooks, of hoeing his own patch and Candy's “couple of acres'” with George and Lennie. Georges dream ends with the death of Lennie. George realizes that the Eden-like world he dreamed of was impossible and that there is no real hope for people like
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